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B. M. JI E H M H 


H 3 d a h u e nemeepmoe 

M O C K B A 

V. I. L E N I N 



September 1919 -April 1920 



From Marx to Mao 

© Digital Reprints 

First printing 1965 
Second printing 1974 



Preface 15 


1919 19 



SOVIET REPUBLIC. Speech Delivered at the Fourth Moscow 
City Conference of Non-Party Working Women. Septem- 
ber 23, 1919 40 





RED ARMY DEPUTIES. OCTOBER 16, 1919. Newspaper Report 66 








Paul Levi, Clara Zetkin, Eberlein and the Other Members of the 
C.C. of the Communist Party of Germany 87 




I (A) The Dictatorship of the Proletariat as New Forms 

of the Class Struggle of the Proletariat 95 

II (B) The Dictatorship of the Proletariat as the Destruc- 
tion of Bourgeois Democracy and the Creation 
of Proletarian Democracy 99 

III (C) The Dictatorship of the Proletariat and the Dis- 

tinguishing Features of Imperialism 102 

IV (D) The Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Soviet 

Power 103 



1 107 

2 108 

3 110 

4 Ill 

5 114 




TWO YEARS OF SOVIET RULE. Speech at a Joint Session of the 
All-Russia Central Executive Committee, the Moscow Soviet of 
Workers' and Red Army Deputies, the All-Russia Central Coun- 
cil of Trade Unions, and Factory Committees, on the Occasion of 
the Second Anniversary of the October Revolution. Novem- 
ber 7, 1919 127 



to Party Organisations 139 



NOVEMBER 22, 1919 151 




2-4, 1919 167 

DECEMBER 2 \^T) (~\\ /f -A-Zf- A TTV 169 

DECEMBER 2 . . . . ^ . ^ 170 





DECEMBER 4, 1919 195 


1919 205 






I 253 

II 256 

III 259 

IV 262 



V 266 

VI 271 


DECEMBER 19, 1919 277 



Leisure, i.e., While Listening to Speeches at Meetings. . . . 298 





MOSCOW. JANUARY 24, 1920. Newspaper Report 302 


ECONOMIC COUNCILS. JANUARY 27, 1920. Newspaper Report . . 309 




JUNCTION. FEBRUARY 5, 1920. Brief Newspaper Report .... 345 



paper Report 349 


I 352 

II 353 

III 357 

IV 359 











OF MEDICAL WORKERS. MARCH 1, 1920. Minutes 401 












MARCH 16, 1920. Brief Newspaper Report 433 




NINTH CONGRESS OF THE R.C.P.(B.). March 29-April 5, 1920 439 








I 491 












Notes 529 

The Life and Work of V. I. Lenin. Outstanding Dates .... 575 


V. I. Lenin. 1920 18-19 

First page of Lenin's manuscript "Economics and Politics in 

the Era of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat". October 30, 1919 105 

First page of Lenin's manuscript "Letter to the Workers and 
Peasants of the Ukraine Apropos of the Victories over Denikin". 
December 28, 1919 289 

First page of the questionnaire filled in by Lenin as delegate 

to the Ninth Congress of the R.C.P.(B.). March 29, 1920. 438-439 



Volume Thirty contains Lenin's speeches and writings for 
the period between September 1919 and April 1920 — the 
period when foreign armed intervention and the Civil War 
had reached their peak and were followed by a temporary 
lull after the defeat of Kolchak and Denikin. 

These speeches and articles demonstrate the great variety 
of the work done by Lenin in guiding the activities of the 
Bolshevik Party and the Soviet state. 

Most of the speeches, reports and articles deal with ques- 
tions of the defence of the socialist fatherland, the organisa- 
tion of the Soviet state and the consolidation of the ranks of 
the Bolshevik Party. A considerable part of the volume, 
however, consists of Lenin's speeches at non-party conferences 
of workers and Red Army soldiers, at congresses of the trade 
unions of water transport workers, miners and textile work- 
ers, and at a congress of working Cossacks. These are 
speeches addressed to the people, in which Lenin appealed for 
the greater unity of the people at home and the army at the 
front, for support for the Red Army and for active 
participation in the work of restoring the economy and in 
the government of the country. Lenin's writings inculcated 
upon the masses a spirit of staunchness, heroism, self- 
sacrifice and iron discipline, and infused in them faith in 
their own strength and in victory. 

In several of the articles in this volume Lenin develops 
the theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat as an 
instrument for the organisation of socialist society. Lenin 
compares Soviet democracy to false, bourgeois democracy; 
he exposes the West-European socialists, the Mensheviks 
and the Socialist-Revolutionaries as traitors to socialism and 
lackeys of imperialism for defending the dictatorship of the 
imperialist bourgeoisie under the flag of "pure democracy". 



This is the subject-matter of the articles "The Dictatorship 
of the Proletariat", "Economics and Politics in the Era of 
the Dictatorship of the Proletariat", "The Constituent 
Assembly Elections and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat", 
"A Publicist's Notes" and others. 

In his "Letter to the Workers and Peasants of the Ukraine 
Apropos of the Victories over Denikin", "To the Communists 
of Turkestan", "Address to the Second All-Russia Congress of 
Communist Organisations of the Peoples of the East, 
November 22, 1919", and the "Draft Resolution of the C.C., 
R.C.P.(B.) on Soviet Rule in the Ukraine", Lenin explains 
the nature of the nationalities policy of the Soviet govern- 
ment and stresses the point that victory over the foreign 
military interventionists and internal counter-revolution is 
possible only if the formerly oppressed peoples rally around 
the Russian people. 

In his "Speech Delivered at the First Congress of Agri- 
cultural Communes and Agricultural Artels, December 4, 
1919" and his "Report on Subbotniks Delivered to a Moscow 
City Conference of the R.C.P.(B.), December 20, 1919", and 
in his article "From the Destruction of the Old Social System 
to the Creation of the New" Lenin deals with questions of 
the socialist reconstruction of the country, the creation of 
new, socialist forms of labour in industry and agriculture. 
The "Report on the Work of the All-Russia Central Executive 
Committee and the Council of People's Commissars Deliv- 
ered at the First Session of the All-Russia Central Executive 
Committee, Seventh Convocation, February 2, 1920" was 
first published in full in the Fourth (Russian) Edition of the 
Collected Works; in this report Lenin gave his reasons why a 
plan for the electrification of Russia had to be prepared. 

The items contained in the present volume include con- 
siderable material on questions of the organisation of eco- 
nomic management, the increasing of the proportion of 
workers in the state apparatus, the participation of trade 
unions in economic development and the struggle against 
bureaucratic methods. In his "Letter to R.C.P. Organisations 
on Preparations for the Party Congress" and his reports 
and speeches delivered at the Ninth Congress of the 
R.C.P.(B.), the Third All-Russia Congress of Trade Unions 
and others, Lenin took a stand on the necessity for one-man 



management, an improvement in labour discipline and en- 
hanced responsibility of the individual in the management 
of industrial enterprises. Lenin dealt a serious rebuff to the 
supporters of the anti-Party "democratic centralism" group 
whose policy would have led to irresponsibility in industrial 

In his speech on "The Tasks of the Working Women's 
Movement in the Soviet Republic" and the articles "Soviet 
Power and the Status of Women", "To the Working Women" 
and "International Working Women's Day" Lenin shows the 
hard position of the woman and her lack of rights under 
capitalism and explains how much Soviet power has given to 
women; he calls upon women to take an active part in the 
economic, social and political life of the country. 

In the articles "How the Bourgeoisie Utilises Renegades" 
and "Greetings to Italian, French and German Communists", 
and in the "Draft (or Theses) of the R.C.P.'s Reply to the 
Letter of the Independent Social-Democratic Party of Ger- 
many" Lenin, as the leader of the world working-class move- 
ment, gives guidance to the Communist Parties in the spirit 
of loyalty to the principles of the dictatorship of the proletar- 
iat and proletarian internationalism, mustering the best 
of the revolutionary proletariat around the Communist Inter- 

Fourteen documents included in the present volume were 
published for the first time in the Fourth (Russian) Edition 
of the Collected Works. 

The group of documents containing answers to corres- 
pondents of the newspapers The Chicago Daily News and 
Daily Express, and of the Universal Service deal mainly with 
questions of the foreign policy of Soviet power. In his replies 
Lenin stressed the consistent desire of Soviet Russia for peace 
and the establishment of commercial relations with all 
capitalist countries; he also exposed the imperialists as war- 

Two speeches appeared for the first time in an edition of the 
Collected Works in the Fourth (Russian) Edition from which 
this translation has been made — the "Speech at a Meeting 
in Presnya District on the Anniversary of the December 
Uprising, 1905, December 19, 1919", and the "Speech at 
the Third All-Russia Conference of Directors of Adult 



Education Divisions of Gubernia Education Departments, 
February 25, 1920"; new also are the letter of greetings "To 
the Bureau of the Women's Congress in Petrograd Gubernia" 
and the "Draft Decisions and Directives on Co-operatives". 

In the letter "To the Communist Comrades Who Belonged 
to the United 'Communist Party of Germany' and Have Now 
Formed a New Party" and in the unfinished article "On Com- 
promises" Lenin makes some statements on the tactics of the 
fraternal Communist Parties. 



SEPTEMBER 3, 1919 

Comrades, permit me to greet your non-party conference 
of workers and men of the Red Army, together with Red 
Commanders graduating from the artillery courses. 
This conference has been called to discuss problems of 
strengthening our state system and our state machinery. 

In all countries the working-class masses are oppressed. 
They do not enjoy the benefits of capitalist civilisation, 
although the working people should by rights constitute the 
basis of all state life. In our country, comrades, the working 
people are the basis, the foundation of the Soviet Republic. 
After the triumph of the working people in February 1917, 
Soviets made their appearance throughout Russia. The idea 
of the Soviets did not originate in 1917 for they were born 
as far back as 1905. Even then Soviets of Workers' Deputies 
existed. After the October Revolution Soviet power met 
with the sympathy of workers in all countries, something 
that can be explained by profound internal causes. 

Allow me, comrades, to say something about the main 
principles of political life in Soviet Russia. I am not in 
possession of exact material demonstrating the economic 
situation of our Republic; other speakers will no doubt 
deal with this, especially with the food policy of the workers' 
and peasants' government; I shall deal only with the politi- 
cal aspect. 



To get a better picture of the basic principle of Soviet 
power we must take a backward glance, we must examine the 
course taken by our revolution, beginning from 1917. There 
were two periods in our revolution — one was the period of 
the Kerensky policy and the Kornilov revolt that preceded 
Soviet power, the other was the period of Kaledin, Kolchak 
and Denikin 2 who tried to destroy Soviet power. Non-party 
workers, members of the working classes, must ask themselves 
why these two periods occurred and why they are intercon- 

Comrades, every worker, every man of the Red Army, 
every member of the working classes must give thought to the 
reason our Soviet power is accused of terrorism, why it is 
said that the Bolsheviks are dictators, that the Bolsheviks 
are cut-throats. On the other hand, every member of the work- 
ing classes should ask himself why the power of Kerensky, 
Kaledin and Kolchak collapsed so easily. You all know that 
at the time Kerensky was in power, Russia was covered with 
a network of Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, and 
that side by side with them, the bourgeoisie held all power in 
their own hands. The bourgeoisie were supported by the Al- 
lies, who wanted Russia to continue the war; the Russian 
bourgeoisie, too, wanted to continue the war in order to get 
hold of the Dardanelles. That is why Kerensky's bourgeois 
government, supported by the Mensheviks and Socialist- 
Revolutionaries, did not want to and could not publish the 
treaties concluded between the government of Nicholas the 
Bloody and the Allies. In this way the bourgeoisie, by a fraud 
and with the aid of the Mensheviks and Socialist- 
Revolutionaries, maintained their power over the masses of 
the working people. 

You all remember that there were very few Bolsheviks in 
the Soviets at the beginning of the 1917 revolution. I remem- 
ber that at the time of the First Congress of Soviets in June, 
the Bolsheviks did not make up even a seventh part of the 
delegates. The bourgeoisie and the so-called socialist parties 
of Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries said of us that 
the Bolsheviks might have a corrupting influence on the 
masses. But what was Kerensky's bourgeois government 
doing at this time? They were feeding the working people 
with promises that were never fulfilled. The land law was 



never promulgated. But when the land committees tried to 
take over the landed estates for distribution among the poor 
peasants, the committees were arrested. It became obvious 
to the working people that this government would give them 
nothing. They began to realise that only their own power, 
the power of the workers and poor peasants, would give them 

It was at this time that Kornilov launched his attack on 
Petrograd. It was not something casual, it derived from the 
fraudulent policy of Kerensky's government that had all 
the time tried to reconcile landowners and peasants, working 
people and exploiters, labour and capital. And then the land- 
owners, officers and capitalists wanted to take all power into 
their own hands. That is why the Kornilov revolt broke out. 
The Soviets realised the danger and mustered their forces 
against Kornilov. And when Kerensky's bourgeois govern- 
ment continued its policy of deception even after this, the 
workers soon became more politically conscious and at the 
same time the number of Bolsheviks in the Soviets began 
rapidly to increase, even before the October Revolution. 
When we took power into our hands in October, the 
Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, who strutted freely 
around Smolny, 3 warned us threateningly that the front would 
move up and wipe us off the face of the earth. We laughed 
in their faces in reply because we knew that the working 
people would understand our explanations, that they sup- 
ported the power of the working people and, consequently, 
the power of the Soviets. And so it was; when numerous dele- 
gations came to Petrograd from the front we explained to 
them the real state of affairs and they all came over to our 
side. That is an object lesson for you non-party working 
people. Everyone who works, every factory worker, every 
man of the Red Army, must learn a lesson from the history 
of the Kerensky government, who, I repeat, wanted to 
reconcile the interests of the landowners and peasants, 
workers and employers, labour and capital. 

It seemed that the Kerensky government ought to have 
been a strong one because the Allied bourgeois governments 
promised to support it, nevertheless it collapsed. The 
Kerensky government collapsed because it was founded on 
deception and had no ground under its feet. The Kerensky 



government promised the working people universal elections, 
but only to cast dust in their eyes and distract their attention 
from the real state of affairs. For this reason, when the 
proletariat took power into its own hands after the October 
Revolution, it immediately organised its own govern- 
ment bodies, the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' 

The workers' and peasants' government straightaway 
rejected the false policy of Kerensky's bourgeois government. 
The first act of the Council of People's Commissars was the 
publication of the secret treaties concluded between the 
government of Nicholas the Bloody and our former Allies. 
The workers' and peasants' government declared forthrightly 
that they did not want to carry on a war waged in the inter- 
ests of the bourgeoisie, and notwithstanding all the slander 
by the Menshevik and Socialist-Revolutionary hirelings of 
the bourgeoisie, proposed to all belligerent countries that 
they commence peace negotiations. The workers of all count- 
ries then saw that Soviet power did not wish to continue the 
war. The rapacious Treaty of Brest 4 was concluded, the treaty 
that the German predators imposed on unarmed Russia. 
Sympathy for Soviet power spread and grew strong among the 
class-conscious working-class masses of all countries. When 
the bourgeois governments of the countries of the Entente 5 
forced the German plunderers to conclude a still more harsh 
and rapacious treaty, 6 the workers of all countries realised 
that they had been fooled all the time. Voices were raised 
and grew in strength and number against those who had all 
the time been fooling the people. Workers began to demand 
Soviet power, the power of the working people, the power of 
the workers and peasants. 

That is why the bourgeois governments of Kerensky and 
Kolchak, that were supported by the Mensheviks and 
Socialist-Revolutionaries, collapsed so rapidly. (You all know 
that the Menshevik Maisky was a member of the Siberian 
Government. 7 ) And the Mensheviks, and the Socialist-Revo- 
lutionaries, and the Czechoslovaks, 8 supported by the 
foreign bourgeoisie, all joined forces, at first against the Bol- 
sheviks, and then to organise a national democratic govern- 
ment. But what do we see? Kolchak-type officers disbanded 
the Constituent Assembly in Siberia and established the 



power of the officers, capitalists and landowners. Thus the 
working people of Siberia learned from their own experience 
that they were being deceived, and that is why the Red Army 
was able to capture the whole of Siberia so easily and in such 
a short time — the Siberian workers and peasants came to the 
aid of the Red Army. 

Comrades, now we have to give some thought to why 
it is said that the Bolsheviks use force, that the Bolsheviks 
are dictators. Why is it that all those who followed the Men- 
sheviks, Socialist-Revolutionaries, Czechoslovaks and Kol- 
chak soon turned their backs on them? Why did the land- 
owners, capitalists and officers from the Siberian Government 
expel the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries and put 
Kolchak in their place immediately they got power into their 
own hands? Why did that government, supported from all 
sides, collapse so quickly? Because all their words and all 
their deeds were false and fraudulent. Because they did not 
keep their word, did not give the people a constituent assem- 
bly, or popular government, or any other kind of democratic 
government; they established a dictatorship of the land- 
owners and officers. 

Comrades, the bourgeoisie, by force of its class interests, 
had to lie to the working people and deceive them. The work- 
ers and peasants understand all this. They realise that there 
will be no lies and no deception only when power is in the 
hands of the working people; nor will there be any of the 
horrors the proletariat and poor peasantry had to put up with 
and still have to put up with after four years of war during 
which the bourgeoisie were in power. The proletariat has 
realised that there is only one way out — to overthrow the 
power of the capitalists; that there can be no reconciliation 
between labour and capital such as the Mensheviks and Social- 
ist-Revolutionaries are always talking about. The Siberian 
workers and peasants have paid a truly high price — tens of 
thousands of people shot and flogged to death — for their 
gullibility. We have had the sad experience of the blood of 
Siberian workers and peasants being spilled, but we know 
that it will be a lesson to them. Experience of this kind is 
the best way of teaching Bolshevism to the workers and 
peasants. After it the working people realise that there is 
no middle way, that they must choose — either the power of 



the workers and peasants, Soviet power, or the power of the 
landowners and capitalists. The bourgeoisie are trying to 
stultify the consciousness of the working people by force and 
by deception, but all their efforts will collapse like a house 
of cards as the political consciousness of the workers and the 
poor peasants grows. 

The venture of Denikin, who, in the Ukraine is repeating 
the Kolchak lesson, will compel the Ukrainian workers 
and peasants to understand the mistake they are making in 
not fighting vigorously enough against him. We know that 
after Denikin has ruled for a while in the Ukraine, the Uk- 
rainian workers and peasants will be all the stronger for it and 
will defend the power of the workers and peasants, not in 
words but in deeds, as our Siberian brothers are now doing. 
The workers' and peasants' government tells the peasants 
and all working people, "Come with us, build your own pro- 
letarian state. Take a look at the lesson taught by Kolchak 
and Denikin and you will see the sort of life you get when 
there is no Soviet power." That lesson is the best agitation 
on our behalf. 

The powerful workers' and peasants' government suppresses 
whiteguard conspiracies conjured up against it. It sweeps 
the traitors out of its ranks with an iron broom. The workers' 
and peasants' government organised the Red Army, put 
specialists into it and surrounded them with a number of 
communist commissars. Dozens of specialists who proved to be 
traitors have been kicked out of the Red Army, and thous- 
ands, tens of thousands of them are honestly carrying out 
their duties and remain in the ranks of the workers' and peas- 
ants' Red Army. That is the main, basic lesson to be learned 
from the political emancipation and liberation of the working 

Everything that I am telling you today, comrades, is be- 
coming clear to the working people of other countries. Every- 
where the movement of the workers who demand the estab- 
lishment of Soviet power is growing and expanding. You 
know that Mensheviks now head the government in Germany 
and that they are maintained in power by the armed force of 
the Entente; nevertheless, despite this, the German workers 
are demanding Soviet power. And the German Government 
was recently forced to add a clause to its constitution intro- 



ducing Soviets or Councils of workers' deputies throughout 
Germany. Those councils, however, do not possess the right 
to discuss questions of the country's political life. According 
to the constitution of the socialist-traitors the German 
Soviets have the right to discuss only the economic situation 
in the country. We get very little information on other West- 
European countries, because we are surrounded by enemies on 
all sides, but the information that does reach us speaks of the 
spread and strengthening of the movement in favour of the 
Bolsheviks. Let me tell you of a little incident that occurred 
in France and which proves more eloquently than any words 
the correctness of my arguments; it will tell you a great deal. 
Two Bolshevik newspapers are published in France. One of 
them wanted to have the title of Bolshevik but the censor 
(in democratic France there is a censor!) forbade it and the 
newspaper called itself Le Titre censure. 9 Workers who buy 
the newspaper and see the title add the word Bolshevik 
themselves. (Stormy applause.) 

In conclusion, comrades, let me tell you of a report I 
received today from Comrade Zinoviev, Chairman of the 
Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Red Army Deputies. 
Comrade Zinoviev informs me that a hundred Estonian prison- 
ers have been landed in Petrograd and they told him the fol- 
lowing. A non-party conference of trade union workers was 
held in whiteguard Estonia. It was attended by 417 delegates 
of whom only 33 were Mensheviks, all the others being 
Bolsheviks! (Stormy applause.) The conference demanded 
the conclusion of peace with Russia. When the British 
learned of this their representative appeared at the conference 
and proposed the overthrow of the whiteguard Government of 
Estonia, but the workers answered by chasing him away and 
demanding the conclusion of peace with Russia and the re- 
turn to peaceful life. The conference was then dispersed and 
a hundred people were sent to Russia "to seek Bolshevism"; 
they have arrested 26 people and intend to shoot them. We 
responded to this act of whiteguard Estonia by a manifesto to 
the workers and the population of the country, and we 
informed their government that we shall shoot all hostages in 
our hands. 10 (Applause.) And there, too, the government was 
supported by the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolution- 



Little Estonia, at her non-party trade union conference, 
gave powerful Britain a proper answer — Britain that had 
menaced us with an alliance of fourteen powers. 11 

As I come to the end of my speech, allow me to express 
my confidence that Soviet Russia, for two years victorious 
inside the country, will soon conquer the power of the bour- 
geoisie throughout the world. (Stormy applause.) 

Pravda No. 201, 
September 11, 1919 

Published according to 
the Pravda text 



Our wireless stations intercept messages from Carnarvon 
(Britain), Paris and other European centres. Today Paris is 
the centre of the world imperialist alliance and its wireless 
messages are therefore often of particular interest. A few days 
ago, on September 13, the government wireless station in 
this centre of world imperialism reported the publication of 
a new anti-Bolshevik book by Karl Kautsky, the well-known 
renegade and leader of the Second International. 

The millionaires and multimillionaires would not use 
their government wireless station for nothing. They considered 
it necessary to publicise Kautsky's new crusade. In their 
attempt to stem the advancing tide of Bolshevism they have 
to grasp at everything — even at a straw, even at Kautsky's 
book. Our heartfelt thanks to the French millionaires for 
helping Bolshevik propaganda so splendidly, for helping us 
by making a laughing-stock of Kautsky's philistine anti- 

Today, September 18, I received the September 7 issue of 
Vorwdrts, the newspaper of the German social-chauvinists, 
the murderers of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. It 
has an article by Friedrich Stampfer on Kautsky's new book 
(Terrorism and Communism) and cites a number of passages 
from it. 12 When we compare Stampfer' s article and the Paris 
wireless message we see that the latter is in all probability 
based on the former. Kautsky's book is extolled by the Schei- 
demanns 13 and Noskes, the bodyguards of the German bour 
eoisie and murderers of the German Communists, by those 
who have joined the imperialists of the Entente in fighting 
international communism. A highly edifying spectacle! And 
when I called Kautsky a lackey of the bourgeoisie (in my book 



The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky), our 
Mensheviks, those typical representatives of the Berne 
(yellow) International, 14 could not find words strong enough 
to express their indignation. 

But it is a fact, gentlemen, despite all your indignation. 
The Scheidemanns of Vorwarts and the Entente millionaires 
are certainly not in collusion with me when they praise 
Kautsky and hold him up as a weapon in the struggle against 
world Bolshevism. In relation to the bourgeoisie Kautsky — 
ven if he did not realise and did not wish it — has proved 
to be exactly what I described him to be. 

Some of the more "thunderous" of his accusations against 
the Bolsheviks will show how far he has gone in his apostasy 
from socialism and the revolution, apostasy that hides behind 
the name of Marxism. 

"Kautsky describes in detail," Stampfer writes, "how the Bol- 
sheviks always, in the end, arrive at the very opposite of their 
avowed aims: they were opposed to the death sentence, but are now 
resorting to mass shootings...." 

First, it is a downright lie to say that the Bolsheviks were 
opposed to the death sentence in time of revolution. At 
the Party's Second Congress in 1903, when Bolshevism first 
emerged, it was suggested that abolition of the death sentence 
be made one of the demands in the Party programme then 
being drawn up, but the minutes record that this only gave 
rise to the sarcastic question: "For Nicholas II too?" Even 
the Mensheviks, in 1903, did not venture to call for a vote on 
the proposal to abolish the death sentence for the tsar. 
And in 1917, at the time of the Kerensky government, I wrote 
in Pravda that no revolutionary government could dispense 
with the death sentence; the question was against which class 
a particular government would use it. Kautsky has so far 
forgotten how to think in terms of revolution and is so 
steeped in philistine opportunism that he cannot visualise a 
proletarian revolutionary party openly acknowledging, long 
before its victory, the need for capital punishment in rela- 
tion to counter-revolutionaries. "Honest" Kautsky, being an 
honest man and an honest opportunist, quite unashamedly 
writes untruths about his opponents. 

Secondly, anyone with the least understanding of revolu- 
tion will realise that here we are not discussing revolution 



in general, but a revolution that is developing out of the 
great imperialist slaughter of the peoples. Can one conceive 
of a proletarian revolution that develops from such a war 
being free of counter-revolutionary conspiracies and attacks 
by hundreds of thousands of officers belonging to the land- 
owner and capitalist classes? Can one conceive of a working- 
class revolutionary party that would not make death the 
penalty for such attacks in the midst of an extremely cruel 
civil war, with the bourgeoisie conspiring to bring in foreign 
troops in an attempt to overthrow workers' government? 
Everyone, save hopeless and ludicrous pedants, must give a 
negative answer to these questions. But Kautsky is no longer 
able to see issues in their concrete historical setting in the 
way he formerly did. 

Thirdly. If Kautsky is no longer capable of analysis 
and writes lies about the Bolsheviks, if he cannot think, or 
even present the problem of distinctive features of a revolu- 
tion arising out of four years of war — he could at least take 
a closer look at what is going on around him. What is proved 
by the assassination of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg 
by army officers in the democratic republic of Germany? 
What is proved by the escape from prison of these officers, 
who were given preposterously lenient sentences? Herr Kaut- 
sky and his whole "independent" party (independent of the 
proletariat but very much dependent on petty-bourgeois 
prejudices) evade these issues and resort to snivelling con- 
demnation and philistine lamentations. That is precisely 
why more and more revolutionary workers the world over 
are turning away from the Kautskys, Longuets, MacDonalds 
and Turatis and joining the Communists, for the revolution- 
ary proletariat needs victory over counter-revolution, not 
impotent "condemnation" of it. 

Fourthly. The question of "terrorism" is, apparently, 
basic to Kautsky's book. That is evident from the title, also 
from Stampfer's remark that "Kautsky is doubtlessly right in 
asserting that the fundamental principle of the Commune was 
not terrorism, but universal suffrage". In my Proletarian 
Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky I cited ample evidence 
to show that all this talk of a "fundamental principle" is a 
sheer travesty of Marxism. My purpose here is a different 
one. To show what Kautsky's disquisitions on the subject 



of "terrorism" are worth, whom, which class, they serve, 
I shall cite in full a short article by a liberal writer. It is a 
letter to The New Republic (June 25, 1919), a liberal Americ- 
an journal which, generally speaking, expresses the petty- 
bourgeois viewpoint. However, it is preferable to Kautsky's 
in not presenting that viewpoint either as revolutionary 
socialism or Marxism. 

This is the full text of the letter: 


Sir: The Allied governments have refused to recognise the Soviet 
Government of Russia because, as they state: 

1. The Soviet Government is — or was — pro-German. 

2. The Soviet Government is based on terrorism. 

3. The Soviet Government is undemocratic and unrepresentative 
of the Russian people. 

Meanwhile the Allied governments have long since recognised the 
present whiteguard Government of Finland under the dictatorship of 
General Mannerheim, although it appears: 

1. That German troops aided the whiteguards in crushing the Social- 
ist Republic of Finland, and that General Mannerheim sent repeated 
telegrams of sympathy and esteem to the Kaiser. Meanwhile the Soviet 
Government was busily undermining the German Government with 
propaganda among troops on the Russian front. The Finnish Govern- 
ment was infinitely more pro-German than the Russian. 

2. That the present Government of Finland on coming into power 
executed in cold blood within a few days' time 16,700 members of the 
old Socialist Republic, and imprisoned in starvation camps 70,000 more. 
Meanwhile the total executions in Russia for the year ended Novem- 
ber 1, 1918, were officially stated to have been 3,800, including many 
corrupt Soviet of officials as well as counter-revolutionists. The Finnish 
Government was infinitely more terroristic than the Russian. 

3. That after killing and imprisoning nearly 90,000 socialists, and 
driving some 50,000 more over the border into Russia — and Finland 
is a small country with an electorate of only about 400,000 — the white- 
guard government deemed it sufficiently safe to hold elections. In spite 
of all precautions, a majority of socialists were elected, but General 
Mannerheim, like the Allies after the Vladivostok elections, allowed 
not one of them to be seated. Meanwhile the Soviet Government had 
disenfranchised all those who do no useful work for a living. The Finn- 
ish Government was considerably less democratic than the Russian. 

And much the same story might be rehearsed in respect to that great 
champion of democracy and the new order, Admiral Kolchak of 
Omsk, whom the Allied governments have supported, supplied and 
equipped, and are now on the point of officially recognising. 

Thus every argument that the Allies have urged against the recog- 
nition of the Soviets, can be applied with more strength and honesty 



against Mannerheim and Kolchak. Yet the latter are recognised, and 
the blockade draws ever tighter about starving Russia. 

Stuart Chase 

Washington, D.C. 

This letter written by a bourgeois liberal, effectively ex- 
poses all the vileness of the Kautskys, Martovs, Chernovs, 
Brantings and other heroes of the Berne yellow International 
and their betrayal of socialism. 

For, first, Kautsky and all these heroes lie about Soviet 
Russia on the question of terrorism and democracy. Secondly, 
they do not assess developments from the standpoint of the 
class struggle as it is actually developing on a world scale 
and in the sharpest possible form, but from the standpoint of 
a petty-bourgeois, philistine longing for what might have 
been if there had been no close link between bourgeois democ- 
racy and capitalism, if there were no whiteguards in the 
world, if they had not been supported by the world bourgeoisie, 
and so on and so forth. Thirdly, a comparison of this 
American letter with the writings of Kautsky and Co. will 
clearly show that Kautsky's objective role is servility to the 

The world bourgeoisie supports the Mannerheims and Kol- 
chaks in an attempt to stifle Soviet power, alleging that it is 
terrorist and undemocratic. Such are the facts. And Kaut- 
sky, Martov, Chernov and Co. are only singing songs about 
terrorism and democracy in chorus with the bourgeoisie, 
for the world bourgeoisie is singing this song to deceive 
the workers and strangle the workers' revolution. The person- 
al honesty of "socialists" who sing the same song "sincerely", 
i.e., because they are extremely dull-witted, does not in 
any way alter the objective role played by the song. The "hon- 
est opportunists", the Kautskys, Martovs, Longuets and 
Co., have become "honest" (in their unprecedented spineless- 
ness) counter-revolutionaries. 

Such are the facts. 

An American liberal realises — not because he is theoretically 
equipped to do so, but simply because he is an attentive 
observer of developments in a sufficiently broad light, on a 
world scale — that the world bourgeoisie has organised and is 
waging a civil war against the revolutionary proletariat 



and, accordingly, is supporting Kolchak and Denikin in 
Russia, Mannerheim in Finland, the Georgian Mensheviks, 
those lackeys of the bourgeoisie, in the Caucasus, the Polish 
imperialists and Polish Kerenskys in Poland, the Scheide- 
manns in Germany, the counter-revolutionaries (Mensheviks 
and capitalists) in Hungary, etc., etc. 

But Kautsky, like the inveterate reactionary philistine 
he is, continues snivelling about the fears and horrors of 
civil war! All semblance of revolutionary understanding, and 
all semblance of historical realism (for it is high time the 
inevitability of imperialist war being turned into civil war 
were realised) have disappeared. This is, furthermore, di- 
rectly abetting the bourgeoisie, it is helping them, and Kaut- 
sky is actually on the side of the bourgeoisie in the civil war 
that is being waged, or is obviously being prepared, through- 
out the world. 

His shouting, groaning, weeping and hysteria about the 
civil war serve to cover up his dismal failure as a theoretician. 
For the Bolsheviks have proved to be right; in the autumn 
of 1914 they declared to the world that the imperialist war 
would be transformed into civil war. Reactionaries of every 
shade were indignant or laughed; but the Bolsheviks were 
right. To conceal their complete failure, their stupidity and 
short-sightedness, the reactionaries must try to scare the 
petty bourgeoisie by showing them the horrors of civil 
war. That is just what Kautsky as a politician is doing. 

To what absurd lengths he has gone can be seen from the 
following. There is no hope of a world revolution, Kautsky 
asserts — and what do you think he used as an argument? 
A revolution in Europe an the Russian pattern would mean 
"unleashing (Entfessellung) civil war throughout the world 
for a whole generation ", and moreover not simply unleashing 
a veritable class war, but a "fratricidal war among the pro- 
letarians". The italicised words belong to Kautsky and are — 
admiringly of course — quoted by Stampfer. 

Yes, Scheidemann's scoundrels and hangmen have good 
reason to admire them! Here is a "socialist leader" scaring 
people with the spectre of revolution and scaring them 
away from revolution! But, curiously enough, there is one 
thing Kautsky overlooks; for nearly two years the all- 
powerful Entente has been fighting against Russia and thereby 



stirring up revolution in the Entente countries. If the revo- 
lution were even to begin now, even if only in its compromis- 
ing stage and in only one or two of the Entente Great Powers 
this would immediately put an end to the civil war in Russia, 
would immediately liberate hundreds of millions in the colo- 
nies, where resentment is at boiling-point and is kept in 
check only by the violence of the European powers. 

Kautsky now obviously has another motive for his actions 
in addition to the foulness of his servile soul that he demon- 
strated throughout the imperialist war — he is afraid of pro- 
tracted civil war in Russia. And fear prevents him from see- 
ing that the bourgeoisie of the whole world is fighting Russia. 
A revolution in one or two of the European Great Powers 
would completely undermine the rule of the world bourgeoi- 
sie, destroy the very foundations of its domination and leave 
it no safe haven anywhere. 

The two-year war of the world bourgeoisie against Russia's 
revolutionary proletariat actually encourages revolution- 
aries everywhere, for it proves that victory on a world scale 
is very near and easy. 

As far as civil war "among the proletarians" is concerned, 
we have heard that argument from the Chernovs and Mar- 
tovs. To assess its utter dishonesty, let us take a simple 
example. During the great French Revolution, part of the 
peasants, the Vendee peasants, fought for the King against the 
Republic. In June 1848 and May 1871 part of the workers 
served in the armies of Cavaignac and Galliffet, the armies 
that stifled the revolution. What would you say of a man 
who took this line of argument: I regret the "civil war among 
the peasants in France in 1792 and among the workers in 1848 
and 1871"? You would have to say that he was a hypocrite 
and defender of reaction, the monarchy and the Cavaignacs. 

And you would be right. 

Today only a hopeless idiot could fail to understand that 
what has taken place in Russia (and is beginning or maturing 
in the rest of the world) is a civil war of the proletariat 
against the bourgeoisie. There never has been, and never can 
be, a class struggle in which part of the advanced class does 
not remain on the side of the reactionary forces. That applies 
to civil war too. Part of the backward workers are bound 
to help the bourgeoisie — for a longer or shorter period. But 



only scoundrels can use that to justify their desertion to the 

Theoretically, this is a refusal to understand what the 
facts of the development of the world labour movement have 
been screaming and shouting about since 1914. The break- 
away of the top strata of the working class, corrupted by a 
middle-class way of life and opportunism and bribed by 
"soft jobs" and other bourgeois sops, began to take shape on a 
world scale in the autumn of 1914 and reached its full devel- 
opment between 1915 and 1918. By disregarding this histor- 
ical fact and blaming the Communists for the split in the 
movement, Kautsky is only demonstrating, for the thous- 
andth time, his role of lackey of the bourgeoisie. 

For forty years, from 1852 to 1892, Marx and Engels spoke 
of part (i.e., the top strata, the leaders, the "aristocracy") 
of the workers in Britain becoming increasingly bourgeois, 
owing to that country's colonial advantages and her monopo- 
lies. 15 It is clear as daylight that the twentieth-century im- 
perialist monopolies in a number of other countries were 
bound to create the same phenomenon as in Britain. In all the 
advanced countries we see corruption, bribery, desertion to 
the bourgeoisie by the leaders of the working class and its 
top strata in consequence of the doles handed out by the 
bourgeoisie, who provide these leaders with "soft jobs", give 
crumbs from their profits to these upper strata, shift the 
burden of the worst paid and hardest work to backward 
workers brought into the country, and enhance the 
privileges of the "labour aristocracy" as compared with the 
majority of the working class. 

The war of 1914-18 has given conclusive proof of treachery 
to socialism and desertion to the bourgeoisie by the leaders 
and top strata of the proletariat, by all the social-chauvinists, 
Gomperses, Brantings, Renaudels, MacDonalds, Scheide- 
manns, etc. And it goes without saying that for a time part of 
the workers by sheer inertia follow these bourgeois scoundrels. 

The Berne International of the Huysmanses, Vanderveldes 
and Scheidemanns has now taken full shape as the yellow 
International of these traitors to socialism. If they are not 
fought, if a split with them is not effected, there can be no 
question of any real socialism, of any sincere work for the 
benefit of the social revolution. 



Let the German Independents try to sit between two 
stools — such is their fate. The Scheidemanns embrace Kautsky 
as their "own man". Stampfer advertises this. Indeed, Kautsky 
is a worthy comrade of the Scheidemanns. When Hilferding, 
another Independent and friend of Kautsky's, proposed at 
Lucerne that the Scheidemanns be expelled from the Inter- 
national, the real leaders of the yellow International only 
laughed at him. His proposal was either a piece of extreme 
foolishness or a piece of extreme hypocrisy; he wanted to pa- 
rade as a Left among the worker masses and, at the same time, 
retain his place in the International of bourgeois servitors! 
Regardless of what motivated this leader (Hilferding), the 
following is beyond doubt — the spinelessness of the Inde- 
pendents and the perfidy of the Scheidemanns, Brantings and 
Vanderveldes are bound to result in a stronger movement of 
the proletarian masses away from these traitorous leaders. 
In some countries imperialism can continue to divide the 
workers for a fairly long time to come. The example of Brit- 
ain is proof of that, but the unification of the revolutionaries, 
and the uniting of the masses with the revolutionaries and the 
expulsion of the yellow elements are, on a world scale, 
proceeding steadily and surely. The tremendous success of the 
Communist International is proof of it: in America, a Commu- 
nist Party has already been formed, 16 in Paris, the Committee 
for the Re-establishment of International Contacts and the 
Syndicalist Defence Committee 17 have come out for the Third 
International, and two Paris papers have sided with the 
Third International: Raymond Pericat's L 'Internationale 18 
and Georges Anquetil's Le Titre censure (Bolshevik?). In 
Britain, we are on the eve of the organisation of a Commu- 
nist Party with which the best elements in the British So- 
cialist Party, 19 the Shop Stewards Committees, 20 the revolu- 
tionary trade-unionists, etc., are in solidarity. The Swedish 
Lefts, the Norwegian Social-Democrats, the Dutch Commu- 
nists, the Swiss 21 and Italian 22 Socialist parties stand solid 
with the German Spartacists 23 and the Russian Bolsheviks. 

In the few months since its organisation early this year, 
the Communist International has become a world organisation 
leading the masses and unconditionally hostile to the 
betrayers of socialism in the yellow International of the 
Berne and Lucerne fraternity. 



In conclusion, here is a highly instructive communication 
that casts light on the part played by the opportunist 
leaders. The conference of yellow socialists in Lucerne this 
August was reported by the Geneva paper La Feuille 24 in a 
special supplement appearing in several languages. The 
English edition (No. 4, Wednesday, August 6) carried an 
interview with Troelstra, the well-known leader of the 
opportunist party in Holland. 

Troelstra said that the German revolution of November 9 had 
caused a good deal of agitation among Dutch political and trade union 
leaders. For a few days the ruling groups in Holland were in a state of 
panic especially as there was practically universal unrest in the army. 

The Mayors of Rotterdam and The Hague, he continues, sought to 
build up their own organisations as an auxiliary force of the counter- 
revolution. A committee composed of former generals — among them 
an old officer who prided himself on having shared in the suppression 
of the Boxer rebellion in China — tried to mislead several of our comrades 
into taking up arms against the revolution. Naturally, their efforts 
had the very opposite result and in Rotterdam, at one time, it seemed 
that a workers' council would be set up. But the political and trade 
union leaders believed such methods premature and confined themselves 
to formulating a workers' minimum programme and publishing 
a strongly worded appeal to the masses. 

That is what Troelstra said. He also bragged a good deal, 
describing how he had delivered revolutionary speeches 
calling even for the seizure of power, how he realised the 
inadequacy of parliament and political democracy as such, 
how he recognised "illegal methods" of struggle and "dicta- 
torship of the proletariat" in the transition period, and so 
on and so forth. 

Troelstra is a typical specimen of the venal, opportunist 
leader who serves the bourgeoisie and deceives the workers. 
In words he will accept everything — workers' councils, pro- 
letarian dictatorship and whatever else you wish. But actual- 
ly he is a vile betrayer of the workers, an agent of the bour- 
geoisie. He is the leader of those "political and trade union 
leaders" that saved the Dutch bourgeoisie by joining forces 
with them at the decisive moment. 

For the facts revealed by Troelstra are perfectly clear and 
point in a very definite direction. The Dutch army had been 
mobilised, the proletariat was armed and united, in the army, 
with the poor sections of the people. The German revolution 



inspired the workers to rise, and there was "practically uni- 
versal unrest in the army". Obviously, the duty of revolution- 
ary leaders was to lead the masses towards revolution, not 
to miss the opportune moment, when the arming of the work- 
ers and the influence of the German revolution could have 
decided the issue at one stroke. 

But the treasonable leaders, with Troelstra at their head, 
joined forces with the bourgeoisie. The workers were stalled 
off with reforms and still more with promises of reforms. 
"Strongly worded appeals" and revolutionary phrases were 
used to placate — and deceive — the workers. It was the 
Troelstras and similar "leaders", who make up the Second 
International of Berne and Lucerne, that saved the capital- 
ists by helping the bourgeoisie demobilise the army. 

The labour movement will march forward, ousting these 
traitors and betrayers, the Troelstras and the Kautskys, 
ridding itself of the upper stratum that has turned bourgeois, 
is misleading the masses and pursuing capitalist policies. 

N. Lenin 

September 20, 1919 

P.S. Judging by Stampfer's article, Kautsky is now silent 
on the Soviet political system. Has he surrendered on this 
cardinal issue? Is he no longer prepared to defend the banali- 
ties set forth in his pamphlet against The Dictatorship of the 
Proletariat? Does he prefer to pass from this chief issue to 
secondary ones? The answer to all these questions must await 
examination of Kautsky's pamphlet. 

Published in September 1919 

Published according to 
the manuscript 




About a year ago, in my letter to the American workers 
(dated August 20th, 1918) I exposed to you the situation in 
Soviet Russia and the problems facing the latter. That was 
before the German revolution. The events which since took 
place in the world's history proved how right the Bolsheviks 
were in their estimation of the imperialist war of 1914-18 
in general and of the Entente imperialism in particular. 
As for the Soviet power it has become familiar and dear to 
the minds and hearts of the working masses of the whole 
world. Everywhere the working people, in spite of the influ- 
ence of the old leaders with their chauvinism and opportun- 
ism penetrating them through and through, become aware of 
the rottenness of the bourgeois parliaments and of the necessity 
of the Soviet power, the power of the working people, the 
dictatorship of the proletariat, for the sake of the emancipation 
of humanity from the yoke of capital. And Soviet power 
will win in the whole world, however furiously, however 
frantically the bourgeoisie of all countries rages and storms. 
The bourgeoisie inundates Russia with blood, waging war 
upon us and inciting against us the counter-revolutionaries, 
those who wish the yoke of capital to be restored. The bour- 
geoisie inflicts upon the working masses of Russia unprece- 
dented sufferings through the blockade and through the help 
it gives to counter-revolution, but we have already defeated 
Kolchak and we are carrying on the war against Denikin 
with the firm assurance of our coming victory. 

N. Lenin 

September 23, 1919 






I am often asked whether those American opponents of the 
war against Russia — not only workers, but mainly bourgeois 
— are right, who expect from us, after peace is concluded, 
not only resumption of trade relations, but also the possibil- 
ity of receiving concessions in Russia. I repeat once more 
that they are right. A durable peace would be such a relief 
to the working people of Russia that they would undoubted- 
ly agree to certain concessions being granted. The granting of 
concessions under reasonable terms is desirable also for us, 
as one of the means of attracting into Russia, during the 
period of the coexistence side by side of socialist and capit- 
alist states, the technical help of the countries which are 
more advanced in this respect. 

N. Lenin 

September 23, 1919 

Published in English on 
December 27, 1919 in the 
magazine Soviet Russia No. 30 

First published in Russian 
in Pravda No. 308, 
November 7, 1930 

Published according to 
the manuscript 



SEPTEMBER 23, 1919 

Comrades, it gives me pleasure to greet a conference of 
working women. I will allow myself to pass over those sub- 
jects and questions that, of course, at the moment are the 
cause of the greatest concern to every working woman and 
to every politically-conscious individual from among the 
working people; these are the most urgent questions — that of 
bread and that of the war situation. I know from the newspa- 
per reports of your meetings that these questions have been 
dealt with exhaustively by Comrade Trotsky as far as war 
questions are concerned and by Comrades Yakovleva and 
Svidersky as far as the bread question is concerned; please, 
therefore, allow me to pass over those questions. 

I should like to say a few words about the general tasks 
facing the working women's movement in the Soviet Repub- 
lic, those that are, in general, connected with the transition 
to socialism, and those that are of particular urgency at the 
present time. Comrades, the question of the position of 
women was raised by Soviet power from the very beginning. 
It seems to me that any workers' state in the course of tran- 
sition to socialism is faced with a double task. The first 
part of that task is relatively simple and easy. It concerns 
those old laws that kept women in a position of inequality 
as compared to men. 

Participants in all emancipation movements in Western 
Europe have long since, not for decades but for centuries, 



put forward the demand that obsolete laws be annulled and 
women and men be made equal by law, but none of the 
democratic European states, none of the most advanced repub- 
lics have succeeded in putting it into effect, because wherever 
there is capitalism, wherever there is private property in 
land and factories, wherever the power of capital is preserved, 
the men retain their privileges. It was possible to put it 
into effect in Russia only because the power of the workers 
has been established here since October 25, 1917. From its 
very inception Soviet power set out to be the power of the 
working people, hostile to all forms of exploitation. It set it- 
self the task of doing away with the possibility of the exploita- 
tion of the working people by the landowners and capital- 
ists, of doing away with the rule of capital. Soviet power has 
been trying to make it possible for the working people to 
organise their lives without private property in land, with- 
out privately-owned factories, without that private property 
that everywhere, throughout the world, even where there is 
complete political liberty, even in the most democratic re- 
publics, keeps the working people in a state of what is actual- 
ly poverty and wage-slavery, and women in a state of double 

Soviet power, the power of the working people, in the 
first months of its existence effected a very definite revolu- 
tion in legislation that concerns women. Nothing whatever 
is left in the Soviet Republic of those laws that put women 
in a subordinate position. I am speaking specifically of those 
laws that took advantage of the weaker position of women 
and put them in a position of inequality and often, even, 
in a humiliating position, i.e., the laws on divorce and on 
children born out of wedlock and on the right of a woman to 
summon the father of a child for maintenance. 

It is particularly in this sphere that bourgeois legislation, 
even, it must be said, in the most advanced countries, takes 
advantage of the weaker position of women to humiliate 
them and give them a status of inequality. It is particularly 
in this sphere that Soviet power has left nothing whatever 
of the old, unjust laws that were intolerable for working peo- 
ple. We may now say proudly and without any exaggeration 
that apart from Soviet Russia there is not a country in the 
world where women enjoy full equality and where women 



are not placed in the humiliating position felt particularly 
in day-to-day family life. This was one of our first and most 
important tasks. 

If you have occasion to come into contact with parties 
that are hostile to the Bolsheviks, if there should come into 
your hands newspapers published in Russian in the regions 
occupied by Kolchak or Denikin, or if you happen to talk to 
people who share the views of those newspapers, you may 
often hear from them the accusation that Soviet power has 
violated democracy. 

We, the representatives of Soviet power, Bolshevik Com- 
munists and supporters of Soviet power are often accused 
of violating democracy and proof of this is given by citing 
the fact that Soviet power dispersed the Constituent Assemb- 
ly. We usually answer this accusation as follows: that democ- 
racy and that Constituent Assembly which came into being 
when private property still existed on earth, when there 
was no equality between people, when the one who possessed 
his own capital was the boss and the others worked for him 
and were his wage-slaves — that was a democracy on which we 
place no value. Such democracy concealed slavery even in 
the most advanced countries. We socialists are supporters 
of democracy only insofar as it eases the position of the 
working and oppressed people. Throughout the world social- 
ism has set itself the task of combating every kind of exploi- 
tation of man by man. That democracy has real value for us 
which serves the exploited, the underprivileged. If those who 
do not work are disfranchised that would be real equal- 
ity between people. Those who do not work should 
not eat. 

In reply to these accusations we say that the question must 
be presented in this way — how is democracy implemented in 
various countries? We see that equality is proclaimed in all 
democratic republics but in the civil laws and in laws on 
the rights of women — those that concern their position in 
the family and divorce — we see inequality and the humilia- 
tion of women at every step, and we say that this is a viola- 
tion of democracy specifically in respect of the oppressed. 
Soviet power has implemented democracy to a greater degree 
than any of the other, most advanced countries because it 
has not left in its laws any trace of the inequality of women. 



Again I say that no other state and no other legislation has 
ever done for women a half of what Soviet power did in the 
first months of its existence. 

Laws alone, of course, are not enough, and we are by no 
means content with mere decrees. In the sphere of legisla- 
tion, however, we have done everything required of us to put 
women in a position of equality and we have every right to 
be proud of it. The position of women in Soviet Russia is now 
ideal as compared with their position in the most advanced 
states. We tell ourselves, however, that this is, of course, 
only the beginning. 

Owing to her work in the house, the woman is still in 
a difficult position. To effect her complete emancipation and 
make her the equal of the man it is necessary for the national 
economy to be socialised and for women to participate in 
common productive labour. Then women will occupy the 
same position as men. 

Here we are not, of course, speaking of making women the 
equal of men as far as productivity of labour, the quantity 
of labour, the length of the working day, labour conditions, 
etc., are concerned; we mean that the woman should not, 
unlike the man, be oppressed because of her position in the 
family. You all know that even when women have full rights, 
they still remain factually downtrodden because all house- 
work is left to them. In most cases housework is the most un- 
productive, the most barbarous and the most arduous work a 
woman can do. It is exceptionally petty and does not include 
anything that would in any way promote the development of 
the woman. 

In pursuance of the socialist ideal we want to struggle for 
the full implementation of socialism, and here an extensive 
field of labour opens up before women. We are now making 
serious preparations to clear the ground for the building of 
socialism, but the building of socialism will begin only 
when we have achieved the complete equality of women and 
when we undertake the new work together with women who 
have been emancipated from that petty, stultifying, un- 
productive work. This is a job that will take us many, many 

This work cannot show any rapid results and will not prod- 
uce a scintillating effect. 



We are setting up model institutions, dining-rooms 
and nurseries, that will emancipate women from housework. 
And the work of organising all these institutions will fall 
mainly to women. It has to be admitted that in Russia today 
there are very few institutions that would help woman out of 
her state of household slavery. There is an insignificant 
number of them, and the conditions now obtaining in the 
Soviet Republic — the war and food situation about which 
comrades have already given you the details — hinder us in 
this work. Still, it must be said that these institutions that 
liberate women from their position as household slaves 
are springing up wherever it is in any way possible. 

We say that the emancipation of the workers must be ef- 
fected by the workers themselves, and in exactly the same 
way the emancipation of working women is a matter for the 
working women themselves. The working women must them- 
selves see to it that such institutions are developed, and this 
activity will bring about a complete change in their position 
as compared with what it was under the old, capitalist socie- 

In order to be active in politics under the old, capitalist 
regime special training was required, so that women played 
an insignificant part in politics, even in the most advanced 
and free capitalist countries. Our task is to make politics 
available to every working woman. Ever since private prop- 
erty in land and factories has been abolished and the power 
of the landowners and capitalists overthrown, the tasks of 
politics have become simple, clear and comprehensible to 
the working people as a whole, including working women. 
In capitalist society the woman's position is marked by such 
inequality that the extent of her participation in politics 
is only an insignificant fraction of that of the man. The power 
of the working people is necessary for a change to be wrought 
in this situation, for then the main tasks of politics will 
consist of matters directly affecting the fate of the working 
people themselves. 

Here, too, the participation of working women is essential 
— not only of party members and politically-conscious 
women, but also of the non-party women and those who are 
least politically conscious. Here Soviet power opens up a 
wide field of activity to working women. 



We have had a difficult time in the struggle against the 
forces hostile to Soviet Russia that have attacked her. It 
was difficult for us to fight on the battlefield against the forces 
who went to war against the power of the working people 
and in the field of food supplies against the profiteers, because 
of the too small number of people, working people, who 
came whole-heartedly to our aid with their own labour. Here, 
too, there is nothing Soviet power can appreciate as much 
as the help given by masses of non-party working women. 
They may know that in the old, bourgeois society, perhaps, a 
comprehensive training was necessary for participation in 
politics and that this was not available to women. The polit- 
ical activity of the Soviet Republic is mainly the struggle 
against the landowners and capitalists, the struggle for the 
elimination of exploitation; political activity, therefore, is 
made available to the working woman in the Soviet Republic 
and it will consist in the working woman using her organisa- 
tional ability to help the working man. 

What we need is not only organisational work on a scale 
involving millions; we need organisational work on the small- 
est scale and this makes it possible for women to work 
as well. Women can work under war conditions when it is a 
question of helping the army or carrying on agitation in the 
army. Women should take an active part in all this so that 
the Red Army sees that it is being looked after, that solicitude 
is being displayed. Women can also work in the sphere 
of food distribution, on the improvement of public catering 
and everywhere opening dining-rooms like those that are so 
numerous in Petrograd. 

It is in these fields that the activities of working women 
acquire the greatest organisational significance. The parti- 
cipation of working women is also essential in the organisa- 
tion and running of big experimental farms and should not take 
place only in isolated cases. This is something that cannot be 
carried out without the participation of a large number of 
working women. Working women will be very useful in this 
field in supervising the distribution of food and in making 
food products more easily obtainable. This work can well be 
done by non-party working women and its accomplishment 
will do more than anything else to strengthen socialist 



We have abolished private property in land and almost 
completely abolished the private ownership of factories; 
Soviet power is now trying to ensure that all working people, 
non-party as well as Party members, women as well as men, 
should take part in this economic development. The work 
that Soviet power has begun can only make progress when, 
instead of a few hundreds, millions and millions of women 
throughout Russia take part in it. We are sure that the 
cause of socialist development will then become sound. Then 
the working people will show that they can live and run their 
country without the aid of the landowners and capitalists. 
Then socialist construction will be so soundly based in Rus- 
sia that no external enemies in other countries and none 
inside Russia will be any danger to the Soviet Republic. 

Pravda No. 213, Published according to the text 

September 25, 1919 of the pamphlet, V. I. Lenin, 

Speech at the Working Women's 
Congress, Moscow, 1919, verified 
with the Pravda text 



The newspapers have already reported that the Petrograd 
workers have begun the intensive mobilisation and dispatch 
of the best workers to the Southern Front. 

Denikin's capture of Kursk and advance on Orel fully ex- 
plain this energetic action of the Petrograd proletariat, 
whose example must be followed by the workers of other 
industrial centres. 

The Denikin gang count on sowing panic in our ranks and 
making us think only of defence, only of the matter in hand. 
The foreign radio shows how zealously the French and Brit- 
ish imperialists are helping Denikin, how they are helping 
him with armaments and hundreds of millions of rubles. 
The foreign radio proclaims to the whole world that the road 
to Moscow lies open. That is how the capitalists would like 
to frighten us. 

But they will not succeed in frightening us. The deploy- 
ment of our troops has been carefully planned and strictly 
carried out. Our offensive against the chief source of the 
enemy's strength steadily continues. The victories recently 
won — the capture of 20 guns in the Boguchar area, the 
capture of the village of Veshenskaya — indicate the success- 
ful advance of our troops to the centre of the Cossack area, 
which alone enabled and still enables Denikin to organise a 
serious force. Denikin will be smashed as Kolchak has been 
smashed. They cannot frighten us and we shall bring our 
cause to a victorious conclusion. 

The capture of Kursk and the enemy's advance on Orel 
required the provision of additional forces in order to repel 
him there. By their example the Petrograd workers have 
shown that they have correctly understood this task. Without 



hiding the dangers from ourselves, and without in any way 
minimising them, we say: Petrograd has shown that we do 
have additional forces. In order to repel the attack on Orel 
and to launch an offensive against Kursk and Kharkov, the 
best proletarians must be mobilised, over and above the 
forces we already have at our disposal. The fall of Kursk 
constitutes a serious danger; never has the enemy been so 
near to Moscow. In addition to the previous army forces, we 
are dispatching new contingents of advanced workers capa- 
ble of changing the mood of the retreating units to ward off 
this danger. 

Among our troops in the South, deserters who have returned 
to the ranks occupy a prominent place. Most of them have 
returned voluntarily, under the influence of the propaganda 
which has explained where their duty lies and shown them 
how serious is the threat that the power of the landowners and 
capitalists will be restored. But the deserters do not hold out, 
they lack staunchness and quite often they begin to retreat 
without fighting. 

That is why it is of prime importance to strengthen the 
army by a new influx of proletarian forces. The unstable 
elements will be given strength, morale will be raised, a 
turning-point will be reached. As has continually happened 
in our revolution, the proletariat will support and guide the 
wavering sections of the working population. 

For a long time now the Petrograd workers have had to 
bear much greater burdens than the workers of other indust- 
rial centres. The Petrograd proletariat has suffered more than 
the proletariat in other localities from famine, the perils of 
war and the withdrawal of the best workers for Soviet duties 
throughout Russia. 

Yet we see that there has not been the slightest dejection, 
not the slightest diminution of energy among the Petrograd 
workers. On the contrary, they have become steeled, they 
have found new strength and have brought new fighters to 
the fore. They are excellently fulfilling the duty of a leading 
contingent, sending aid and support where it is most needed. 

When such fresh forces go to reinforce units of our army 
that have wavered, the mass of the working people, the soldiers 
of peasant origin obtain new leaders from among their own 
kind, from the more developed, more politically-conscious, 



and more staunch-minded working people. That is why 
such help to our peasant army gives us a decisive superiority 
over the enemy, for in his case it is only landowners' sons 
who are sent out to strengthen his peasant army, and we know 
that this "strengthening" has ruined Kolchak and will ruin 

Comrade workers! Let all of you set about the new work 
after the example of the Petrograd comrades! More energy for 
activities in the army, more initiative and boldness, more 
emulation so as to equal the Petrograders, and victory will 
be won by the working people, the landowner and capitalist 
counter-revolution will be beaten. 

P.S. I have just learned that from Moscow also some 
dozens of the most devoted comrades have left for the front. 
Following Petrograd, Moscow has taken action. Following 
Moscow, all the rest should take action. 

N. Lenin 


October 3, 1919 

Pravda No. 221, 
October 4, 1919 

Published according to 
the Pravda text 



October 5, 1919 

I beg to apologise for my bad English. I am glad to answer 
your few questions. 

1. What is the present policy of the Soviet Government on the 
question of peace? 

2. What, in general outline, are the peace terms put forward by 
Soviet Russia? 

Our peace policy is the former, that is, we have accepted 
the peace proposition of Mr. Bullitt. 27 We have never changed 
our peace conditions (question 2), which are formulated with 
Mr. Bullitt. 

We have many times officially proposed peace to the 
Entente before coming of Mr. Bullitt. 

3. Is the Soviet Government prepared to guarantee absolute non- 
intervention in the internal affairs of foreign states? 

We are willing to guarantee it. 

4. Is the Soviet Government prepared to prove that it represents 
the majority of the Russian people? 

Yes, the Soviet Government is the most democratic gov- 
ernment of all governments in the world. We are willing to 
prove it. 

5. What is the position of the Soviet Government in respect of an 
economic understanding with America? 



We are decidedly for an economic understanding with 
America — with all countries but especially with America. 

If necessary we can give you the full text of our 
peace conditions as formulated by our government with 
Mr. Bullitt. 

Wl. Oulianoff (N. Lenin) 

Published in the Chicago 
Daily News No. 257, 
October 27, 1919 

First published in Russian in 1942 

Published according to 
the newspaper text 



Scant indeed is the news we get from abroad. The blockade 
by the imperialist beasts is in full swing; the violence of the 
biggest world powers is turned against us in the hope of res- 
toring the rule of the exploiters. And all this bestial fury of 
the Russian and world capitalists is cloaked, needless to say, 
in phrases about the lofty significance of "democracy"! The 
exploiter camp is true to itself; it depicts bourgeois democracy 
as "democracy" in general. And all the philistines and 
petty bourgeois, down to Friedrich Adler, Karl Kautsky 
and the majority of the leaders of the Independent (that is, 
independent of the revolutionary proletariat but dependent 
on petty-bourgeois prejudices) Social-Democratic Party of 
Germany, join in the chorus. 

But the more infrequently we in Russia receive news from 
abroad, the greater the joy with which we follow the gigan- 
tic, universal advance of communism among the workers 
in all the countries of the world, the successful severance of 
the masses from the corrupt and treacherous leaders who, from 
Scheidemann to Kautsky, have gone over to the bourgeoisie. 

All that we know of the Italian Party is that its Congress 
has resolved by a huge majority to affiliate to the Third 
International and to adopt the programme of the dictator- 
ship of the proletariat. Thus, the Italian Socialist Party has, 
in practice, aligned itself with communism, though to our 
regret it still retains its old name. Warm greetings to the 
Italian workers and their party! 

All that we know of France is that in Paris alone there are 
already two communist newspapers: L' Internationale edited 
by Raymond Pericat, and Le Titre censure edited by Georges 



Anquetil. A number of proletarian organisations have al- 
ready affiliated to the Third International. The sympathies of 
the workers are undoubtedly on the side of communism and 
Soviet power. 

Of the German Communists we know only that communist 
newspapers are published in a number of towns. Many bear 
the name Die Rote Fahne. 2S The Berlin Rote Fahne, an illegal 
publication, is battling heroically against the Scheidemanns 
and Noskes, the butchers who play flunkey to the bourgeoi- 
sie in deeds, just as the Independents do in words and in 
their "ideological" (petty-bourgeois ideological) propaganda. 

The heroic struggle of Die Rote Fahne, the Berlin commu- 
nist paper, evokes whole-hearted admiration. At last we see 
in Germany honest and sincere socialists, who, despite all 
persecution, despite the foul murder of their best leaders, 
have remained firm and unbending! At last we see in Germa- 
ny communist workers who are waging a heroic struggle that 
really deserves to be called "revolutionary"! At last there has 
emerged from the very midst of the proletarian masses in 
Germany a force for which the words "proletarian revolu- 
tion" have become a truthl 

Greetings to the German Communists! 

The Scheidemanns and Kautskys, the Renners and Fried- 
rich Adlers, great as the difference between these gentlemen 
in the sense of personal integrity may probably be, have 
in equal measure proved to be petty bourgeois, most shameful 
traitors to and betrayers of socialism, supporters of the 
bourgeoisie. For in 1912 all of them took part in drafting 
and signing the Basle Manifesto 29 on the approaching imperial- 
ist war, all of them spoke then about "proletarian revolution", 
and all of them proved in practice to be petty-bourgeois 
democrats, knights of philistine-republican, bourgeois-demo- 
cratic illusions, accomplices of the counter-revolutionary 

The savage persecution to which the German Communists 
have been subjected has strengthened them. If at the moment 
they are somewhat disunited, this testifies to the breadth 
and mass character of their movement, to the vigour with 
which communism is growing out of the very midst of the 
masses of workers. It is inevitable that a movement so ruth- 
lessly persecuted by the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie 



and their Scheidemann-Noske henchmen and forced to orga- 
nise illegally should be disunited. 

And it is natural, too, that a movement which is growing 
so rapidly and experiencing such desperate persecution 
should give rise to rather sharp differences. There is nothing 
terrible in that; it is a matter of growing pains. 

Let the Scheidemanns and Kautskys gloat in their Vor- 
warts and Freiheit about the differences among the Commun- 
ists. There is nothing left for these heroes of rotten philistin- 
ism but to cover up their rottenness by pointing to the Com- 
munists. But if we take the real state of affairs we realise 
that only the blind can now fail to see the truth. And the 
truth is that the followers of Scheidemann and Kautsky have 
shamelessly betrayed the proletarian revolution in Germany, 
broken faith with it and have, in fact, sided with the counter- 
revolutionary bourgeoisie. Heinrich Laufenberg in his ex- 
cellent pamphlet, From the First Revolution to the Second, 
demonstrated this and proved it with remarkable force, 
vividness, clarity and conviction. The differences among the 
followers of Scheidemann and Kautsky are differences within 
disintegrating, dying parties of which there remain only 
leaders without masses, generals without armies. The masses 
are abandoning the Scheidemanns and going over to the Kaut- 
skys, being attracted by their Left wing (this is borne out 
by any report of a mass meeting), and this Left wing com- 
bines — in unprincipled and cowardly fashion — the old preju- 
dices of the petty bourgeoisie about parliamentary democra- 
cy with communist recognition of the proletarian revolution, 
the dictatorship of the proletariat and Soviet power. 

Under mass pressure, the rotten leaders of the Independents 
acknowledge all this in words, but in deeds they remain pet- 
ty-bourgeois democrats, "socialists" of the type of Louis 
Blanc and the other dolts of 1848 who were so mercilessly 
ridiculed and branded by Marx. 

Here we have differences that are really irreconcilable. 
There can be no peace, no joint work, between the proletarian 
revolutionaries and the philistines, who, like those of 
1848, worship at the shrine of bourgeois "democracy" without 
understanding its bourgeois nature. Haase and Kautsky, 
Friedrich Adler and Otto Bauer can twist and squirm as much 
as they like, use up reams of paper and make endless 



speeches, but they cannot get away from the fact that in prac- 
tice they absolutely fail to understand the dictatorship of the 
proletariat and Soviet power, that in practice they are petty- 
bourgeois democrats, "socialists" of the Louis Blanc and 
Ledru-Rollin type, that in practice they are, at best, puppets 
in the hands of the bourgeoisie, and, at worst, direct hire- 
lings of the bourgeoisie. 

The Independents, the Kautskyites and the Austrian So- 
cial-Democrats seem to be united parties, actually, on the 
basic, chief and most essential issue, most of their party 
members do not agree with the leaders. The party member- 
ship will wage a proletarian revolutionary struggle for Soviet 
power the very moment a new crisis sets in, and the "leaders" 
will act as counter-revolutionaries as they do now. To sit 
between two stools is not a difficult matter in words; Hilferd- 
ing in Germany and Friedrich Adler in Austria are giving a 
model display of this noble art. 

But people who try to reconcile the irreconcilable will 
prove to be mere soap-bubbles in the heat of the revolution- 
ary struggle. This was demonstrated by all the "socialist" 
heroes of 1848, by their Menshevik and Socialist-Revolution- 
ary kindred in Russia in 1917-19, and is being demonstrat- 
ed by all the knights of the Berne, or yellow, Second Inter- 

The differences among the Communists are of another kind. 
Only those who do not want to cannot see the fundamental 
distinction. The differences among the Communists are dif- 
ferences between representatives of a mass movement that 
has grown with incredible rapidity; and the Communists have 
a single, common, granite-like foundation — recognition of 
the proletarian revolution and of the struggle against bour- 
geois-democratic illusions and bourgeois-democratic parliam- 
entarism, and recognition of the dictatorship of the pro- 
letariat and Soviet power. 

On such a basis differences are nothing to worry about, 
they represent growing pains, not senile decay. Bolshevism, 
too, has experienced differences of this kind more than 
once, as well as minor breakaways caused by such differ- 
ences, but at the decisive moment, at the moment of taking 
power and establishing the Soviet Republic, Bolshevism was 
united; it drew to itself all that was best in the trends of 



socialist thought akin to it and rallied round itself the entire 
vanguard of the proletariat and the overwhelming majority 
of the working people. 

And so it will be with the German Communists, too. 

The followers of Scheidemann and Kautsky still talk about 
"democracy" in general, they still live in the ideas of 1848, 
they are Marxists in words, Louis Blancs in deeds. They 
prattle about the "majority" and believe that equality of 
ballot-papers signifies equality of exploited and exploiter, 
of worker and capitalist, of poor and rich, of the hungry and 
the satiated. 

The Scheidemanns and the Kautskys would have us believe 
that the kind-hearted, honest, noble, peace-loving capital- 
ists have never used the force of wealth, the force of money, 
the power of capital, the oppression of bureaucracy and 
military dictatorship, but have decided matters truly "by 

The Scheidemanns and the Kautskys (partly from hypoc- 
risy, partly from extreme stupidity, instilled by decades of 
reformist activity) prettify bourgeois democracy, bourgeois 
parliamentarism and the bourgeois republic, so as to make 
it appear that the capitalists decide affairs of state by the 
will of the majority, and not by the will of capital, not by 
means of deception and oppression and the violence of the 
rich against the poor. 

The Scheidemanns and Kautskys are ready to "recognise" 
the proletarian revolution, but only with the proviso that 
first, while the force, power, oppression and privileges of 
capital and wealth are retained, the majority of the people 
shall vote (with the voting supervised by the bourgeois appa- 
ratus of state power) "for revolution^. It is difficult to imagine 
the extent of the philistine stupidity displayed in these 
views, or the extent of the philistine gullibility (Vertrauens- 
duselei) in the capitalists, in the bourgeoisie, in the generals, 
and in the bourgeois apparatus of state power. 

Actually, it is precisely the bourgeoisie that has always 
played the hypocrite by characterising formal equality as 
"democracy", and in practice using force against the poor, 
the working people, the small peasants and the workers, by 
employing countless means of deception, oppression, etc. 
The imperialist war (that the Scheidemanns and the Kautskys 



painted in shamelessly bright colours) has made this plain 
to millions of people. Proletarian dictatorship is the sole 
means of defending the working people against the oppression 
of capital, the violence of bourgeois military dictatorship, 
and imperialist war. Proletarian dictatorship is the sole 
step to equality and democracy in practice, not on paper, 
but in life, not in political phrase-mongering, but in econom- 
ic reality. 

Having failed to understand this, the Scheidemanns 
and the Kautskys proved to be contemptible traitors to so- 
cialism and defenders of the ideas of the bourgeoisie. 

* * 

The Kautskyite (or Independent) party is dying. It is 
bound to die and disintegrate soon as a result of the diffe- 
rences between its predominantly revolutionary member- 
ship and its counter-revolutionary "leaders". 

The Communist Party, experiencing exactly the same (es- 
sentially the same) differences as were experienced by Bol- 
shevism, will grow stronger and become as hard as steel. 

The differences among the German Communists boil down, 
so far as I can judge, to the question of "utilising the legal 
possibilities" (as the Bolsheviks used to say in the 1910-13 
period), of utilising the bourgeois parliament, the reaction- 
ary trade unions, the law on works' councils (Betriebsratge- 
setz), bodies that have been hamstrung by the Scheidemanns 
and Kautskys; it is a question of whether to participate in 
such bodies or boycott them. 

We Russian Bolsheviks experienced quite similar differ- 
ences in 1906 and in the 1910-12 period. And for us it is 
clear that with many of the young German Communists it is 
simply a case of a lack of revolutionary experience. Had they 
experienced a couple of bourgeois revolutions (1905 and 1917), 
they would not be advocating the boycott so unconditional- 
ly, nor fall from time to time into the mistakes of syndical- 

This is a matter of growing pains; the movement is develop- 
ing in fine style and as it grows they will pass. And these ob- 
vious mistakes must be combated openly; the differences 
must not be exaggerated since it must be clear to everyone 



that in the near future the struggle for the dictatorship of 
the proletariat, for Soviet power, will wipe out the greater 
part of them. 

Both from the standpoint of Marxist theory and the exper- 
ience of three revolutions (1905, February 1917 and October 
1917) I regard refusal to participate in a bourgeois parliament, 
in a reactionary (Legien, Gompers, etc.) trade union, in an 
ultra-reactionary workers' council hamstrung by the Schei- 
demanns, etc., as an undoubted mistake. 

At times, in individual cases, in individual countries, the 
boycott is correct, as, for example, was the Bolshevik 
boycott of the tsarist Duma in 1905. But the selfsame Bol- 
sheviks took part in the much more reactionary and down- 
right counter-revolutionary Duma of 1907. The Bolsheviks 
contested the elections to the bourgeois Constituent Assembly 
in 1917, and in 1918 we dispersed it, to the horror of the phil- 
istine democrats, the Kautskys and other such renegades 
from socialism. We worked in the ultra-reactionary, purely 
Menshevik, trade unions which (in their counter-revolution- 
ary nature) yielded nothing to the Legien unions — the foul- 
est and most reactionary trade unions in Germany. Even now, 
two years after the conquest of state power, we have not yet 
finished fighting the remnants of the Menshevik (i.e., the 
Scheidemann, Kautsky, Gompers, etc.) trade unions — so 
long is the process! So strong in some places and in some 
trades is the influence of petty-bourgeois ideas! 

At one time we were in a minority in the Soviets, the 
trade unions and the co-operatives. By persistent effort 
and long struggle — both before and after the conquest of 
political power — we won a majority, first in all workers' 
organisations, then in non-worker and, finally, even in 
small-peasant organisations. 

Only scoundrels or simpletons can think that the proletar- 
iat must first win a majority in elections carried out under 
the yoke of the bourgeoisie, under the yoke of wage-slavery, 
and must then win power. This is the height of stupidity or 
hypocrisy; it is substituting elections, under the old system 
and with the old power, for class struggle and revolution. 

The proletariat wages its class struggle and does not wait 
for elections to begin a strike, although for the complete suc- 
cess of a strike it is necessary to have the sympathy of the 



majority of the working people (and, it follows, of the major- 
ity of the population); the proletariat wages its class struggle 
and overthrows the bourgeoisie without waiting for any pre- 
liminary elections (supervised by the bourgeoisie and carried 
out under its yoke); and the proletariat is perfectly well 
aware that for the success of its revolution, for the successful 
overthrow of the bourgeoisie, it is absolutely necessary to 
have the sympathy of the majority of the working people 
(and, it follows, of the majority of the population). 

The parliamentary cretins and latter-day Louis Blancs 
"insist" absolutely on elections, on elections that are most cer- 
tainly supervised by the bourgeoisie, to ascertain whether 
they have the sympathy of the majority of the working peo- 
ple. But this is the attitude of pedants, of living corpses, or 
of cunning tricksters. 

Real life and the history of actual revolutions show that 
quite often the "sympathy of the majority of the working 
people" cannot be demonstrated by any elections (to say 
nothing of elections supervised by the exploiters, with 
"equality" of exploiters and exploited!). Quite often the 
"sympathy of the majority of the working people" is demon- 
strated not by elections at all, but by the growth of one of the 
parties, or by its increased representation in the Soviets, 
or by the success of a strike which for some reason has 
acquired enormous significance, or by successes won in civil 
war, etc., etc. 

The history of our revolution has shown, for example, 
that sympathy for the dictatorship of the proletariat on the 
part of the majority of the working people in the boundless 
expanses of the Urals and Siberia was ascertained not by means 
of elections, but by the experience of a year of the tsarist 
general Kolchak's rule in that area. Incidentally, Kolchak's 
rule also began with a "coalition" of the Scheidemann and 
Kautsky crowd (in Russian they are called Mensheviks and 
Socialist-Revolutionaries, supporters of the Constituent As- 
sembly), just as in Germany at the moment the Haases and 
Scheidemanns, through their "coalition", are paving the way 
to power for von Goltz or Ludendorff and covering up this 
power and making it look decent. In parenthesis it should be 
said that the Haase-Scheidemann coalition in the govern- 
ment has ended, but the political coalition of these betrayers 



of socialism remains. Proof: Kautsky's books, Stamp- 
fer's articles in Vorwdrts, the articles by the Kautskys 
and the Scheidemanns about their "unification", and 
so on. 

The proletarian revolution is impossible without the sym- 
pathy and support of the overwhelming majority of the 
working people for their vanguard — the proletariat. But this 
sympathy and this support are not forthcoming immediately 
and are not decided by elections. They are won in the course 
of long, arduous and stern class struggle. The class struggle 
waged by the proletariat for the sympathy and support of the 
majority of the working people does not end with the con- 
quest of political power by the proletariat. After the con- 
quest of power this struggle continues, but in other forms. 
In the Russian revolution the circumstances were exception- 
ally favourable for the proletariat (in its struggle for its 
dictatorship), since the proletarian revolution took place at a 
time when all the people were under arms and when the 
peasantry as a whole, disgusted by the "Kautskyite" 
policy of the social-traitors, the Mensheviks and the Socialist- 
Revolutionaries, wanted the overthrow of the rule of the 

But even in Russia, where things were exceptionally fa- 
vourable at the moment of the proletarian revolution, where 
a most remarkable unity of the entire proletariat, the entire 
army and the entire peasantry was achieved at once — even 
in Russia, the proletariat, exercising its dictatorship, had to 
struggle for months and years to win the sympathy and sup- 
port of the majority of the working people. After two years 
this struggle has practically, but still not completely, ended 
in favour of the proletariat. In two years we have won the 
full sympathy and support of the overwhelming majority of 
the workers and labouring peasants of Great Russia, includ- 
ing the Urals and Siberia, but as yet we have not won 
the full support and sympathy of the majority of the working 
peasants (as distinct from the peasant exploiters) of the 
Ukraine. We could be (but shall not be) crushed by the mili- 
tary might of the Entente, but inside Russia we now have 
such sound sympathy, and from such an enormous majority 
of the working people, that our state is the most democratic 
state the world has ever seen. 



One has only to give some thought to this complex, dif- 
ficult and long history of proletarian struggle for power — 
a struggle rich in the extraordinary variety of forms and 
in the unusual abundance of sharp changes, turns and 
switches from one form to another — to see clearly the error of 
those who would "forbid" participation in bourgeois parlia- 
ments, reactionary trade unions, tsarist or Scheidemann 
Shop Stewards Committees or works' councils, and so on and 
so forth. This error is due to the lack of revolutionary exper- 
ience among quite sincere, convinced and valiant working- 
class revolutionaries. Consequently, Karl Liebknecht and 
Rosa Luxemburg were a thousand times right in January 
1919 when they realised this mistake, pointed it out, but 
nevertheless chose to remain with the proletarian revolution- 
aries, mistaken though they were on a minor question, rather 
than side with the traitors to socialism, the Scheidemanns and 
the Kautskys, who made no mistake on the question of par- 
ticipating in bourgeois parliaments, but had ceased to be so- 
cialists and had become philistine democrats and accomplices 
of the bourgeoisie. 

A mistake, however, remains a mistake and it is necessary 
to criticise it and fight for its rectification. 

The fight against the traitors to socialism, the Scheide- 
manns and the Kautskys, must be waged mercilessly, but 
not on the issue of for or against participation in bourgeois 
parliaments, reactionary trade unions, etc. This would be an 
obvious mistake, and a bigger mistake still would be to 
retreat from the ideas of Marxism and its practical line (a 
strong, centralised political party) to the ideas and practice 
of syndicalism. It is necessary to work for the Party's parti- 
cipation in bourgeois parliaments, in reactionary trade uni- 
ons and in "works' councils" that have been mutilated and 
castrated in Scheidemann fashion, for the Party to be wherever 
workers are to be found, wherever it is possible to talk 
to workers, to influence the working masses. Legal and ille- 
gal work must at all costs be combined, the illegal Party, 
through its workers' organisations, must exercise systematic, 
constant and strict control over legal activity. This is no 
easy matter, but the proletarian revolution, generally speak- 
ing, knows nothing and can know nothing of "easy" tasks or 
"easy" means of struggle. 



This difficult task must be carried out at all costs. The 
Scheidemann and Kautsky gang differ from us not only (and 
not chiefly) because they do not recognise the armed upris- 
ing and we do. The chief and radical difference is that in all 
spheres of work (in bourgeois parliaments, trade unions, co- 
operatives, journalistic work, etc.) they pursue an 
inconsistent, opportunist policy, even a policy of downright 
treachery and betrayal. 

Fight against the social-traitors, against reformism and 
opportunism — this political line can and must be followed 
without exception in all spheres of our struggle. And then 
we shall win the working masses. And the vanguard of the 
proletariat, the Marxist centralised political party together 
with the working masses will take the people along the true 
road to the triumph of proletarian dictatorship, to proletar- 
ian instead of bourgeois democracy, to the Soviet Republic, 
to the socialist system. 

In the space of a few months the Third International has 
won a number of glorious, unprecedented victories. The 
speed of its growth is astonishing. Particular mistakes and 
growing pains give no grounds for alarm. By criticising 
them directly and openly, we shall ensure that the working 
masses of all cultured countries, educated in the spirit of 
Marxism, quickly rid themselves of the betrayers of social- 
ism, the Scheidemanns and Kautskys of all nations (for these 
traitors are to be found in all nations). 

The victory of communism is inevitable. Communism will 

N. Lenin 

October 10, 1919 

Published in October 1919 

Published according to 
the manuscript 



Moscow Party Week 30 comes at a time of difficulty for the 
Soviet government. Denikin's successes have given rise to a 
frenzied increase in plots by the landowners, capitalists and 
their friends, and increased efforts on the part of the bourgeoi- 
sie to sow panic and undermine the strength of the Soviet 
rule by every means in their power. The vacillating, waver- 
ing, politically backward petty bourgeois, and with them the 
intelligentsia, the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Menshe- 
viks, have, as usual, become more shaky than ever and 
were the first to allow themselves to be intimidated by the 

Moscow Party Week at such a difficult time is, I think, 
something of an advantage to us, for it is much better for 
the cause. We do not need a Party Week for show purposes. 
We do not need fictitious Party members even as a gift. Our 
Party, the party of the revolutionary working class, is 
the only government party in the world which is concerned 
not with increasing its membership but with improving its 
quality, and purging itself of "self-seekers". We have more 
than once carried out the re-registration of Party members 
in order to get rid of these "self-seekers" and to leave in the 
Party only politically-conscious elements who are sincerely 
devoted to communism. 31 We have further taken advantage 
of the mobilisations for the front and of the subbotniks 
to purge the Party of those who are only "out for" the benefits 
accruing to membership of a government party and do 
not want to bear the burden of devoted work on behalf of 

And at this juncture, when intensified mobilisation for 
the front is in progress, Party Week is a good thing because 



it offers no temptation to the self-seekers. We extend a broad 
invitation into the Party only to rank-and-file workers and 
poor peasants, to labouring peasants, but not to the peasant 
profiteers. We do not promise and do not give these rank-and- 
file members any advantages from joining the Party. On the 
contrary, just now harder and more dangerous work than 
usual falls to the lot of Party members. 

So much the better. Only sincere supporters of communism, 
only persons who are conscientiously devoted to the workers' 
state, only honest working people, only genuine representa- 
tives of the masses that were oppressed under capitalism will 
join the Party. 

And it is only such members that we need in the Party. 

We need new Party members not for advertising purposes 
but for serious work. These are the people we invite into the 
Party. To the working people we throw the doors of the Party 
wide open. 

Soviet power is the power of the working people that is 
fighting for the complete overthrow of the yoke of capital. 
The first to engage in this fight were the working class of 
the towns and the factory centres. They won the first victory 
and conquered state power. 

The working class is winning to their side the majority of 
the peasants. For it is only the peasant huckster, the peasant 
profiteer, and not the labouring peasant who is drawn to the 
side of capital, to the side of the bourgeoisie. 

The workers of Petrograd, the most advanced, the most 
politically-conscious workers, have been contributing most 
of all to the administration of Russia. But we know that 
among the rank-and-file workers and peasants there are very 
many people devoted to the interests of the working masses 
and capable of undertaking the work of leadership. Among 
them there are many with a talent for organisation and admin- 
istration to whom capitalism gave no opportunity and whom 
we are helping and must help in every way to come to the 
fore and take up the work of building socialism. To discover 
these new, modest and unperceived talents is no easy matter. 
It is no easy matter to enlist for state administrative work 
rank-and-file workers and peasants who for centuries had 
been downtrodden and intimidated by the landowners and 



But this difficult work has to be done, it must be done, 
so as to draw more deeply on the working class and the 
labouring peasantry for new forces. 

Comrades, non-party workers and labouring peasants, 
join the Party! We promise you no advantages from join- 
ing; it is hard work we are calling you to, the work of organis- 
ing the state. If you are sincere supporters of communism, set 
about this work boldly, do not fear its novelty and the dif- 
ficulty it entails, do not be put off by the old prejudice 
that only those who have received formal training are capable 
of this work. That is not true. The work of building socialism 
can and must be directed by rank-and-file workers and 
labouring peasants in ever-growing numbers. 

The mass of the working people are with us. That is where 
our strength lies. That is the source of the invincibility of 
world communism. More new workers from among the masses 
for the ranks of the Party to take an independent part in 
building the new life — that is our method of combating all 
difficulties, that is our path to victory. 

October 11, 1919 

Pravda No. 228, 
October 12, 1919 
Signed: N. Lenin 

Published according to 
the manuscript 


OCTOBER 16, 1919 


{Lenin is greeted with stormy applause.) Comrades, permit 
me to greet the workers of Yaroslavl and Vladimir gubernias 
who have once again answered our call and given their best 
forces for the defence of the workers' and peasants' republic. 
You know from the newspapers in which we print the whole 
truth, concealing nothing, what new and ominous danger is 
embodied in the capture of Orel by the tsarist general Denikin 
and the threat to Red Petrograd by Yudenich. But we regard 
this danger, and we struggle against it, in the way we always 
have — we appeal to the politically-conscious proletariat and 
working peasantry to stand firm in defence of their gains. 

The situation is extremely grave. But we do not despair, 
for we know that every time a difficult situation for the 
Soviet Republic arises the workers display miracles of valour 
and by their example encourage and inspire the troops 
and lead them on to fresh victories. 

We know that throughout the world, in all countries, the 
revolutionary movement is growing, slower than we would 
like, but definitely growing. We also know that the victory 
of the working class throughout the world is certain. 

Great as the sacrifices made by Russia are, greatly as she 
has been tormented and mutilated, she is nevertheless 
fighting persistently for the cause of all workers. The impe- 



rialists may crush another republic or two, but they cannot 
save world imperialism, for it is doomed and will be swept 
away by the coming socialism. 

That is why I greet you, workers of Vladimir and Yaroslavl 
gubernias, in the firm conviction that you will, by your per- 
sonal example, strengthen the spirit of the Red Army and 
lead it to victory. 

Long live the workers and peasants! 

Long live the world workers' republic! 

Pravda No. 232, 
October 12, 1919 

Published according to 
the Pravda text 



Comrades, the decisive moment has arrived. The tsarist 
generals have again been provided with munitions and other 
supplies by the capitalists of Britain, France and America, 
and with gangs of landowners' sons are again trying to cap- 
ture Red Petrograd. The enemy launched his attack at the 
time of the peace negotiations with Estonia, attacked our 
Red Army troops who believed in these negotiations. The 
treacherous nature of the attack partly explains the rapid 
successes of the enemy. Krasnoye Selo, Gatchina and Vyritsa 
have been captured. Two railway lines to Petrograd have been 
cut. The enemy is trying to cut the third, Nikolayevskaya, 
line, and the fourth, Vologda, line so as to starve Petrograd 
into surrender. 

Comrades, you all know and can see for yourselves the 
tremendous threat hanging over Petrograd. A few days will 
decide the fate of the city, and that means half the fate of 
Soviet power in Russia. 

There is no need for me to remind Petrograd workers and 
Red Army soldiers of their duty. The entire history of the 
two years' struggle of the Soviet Republic against the bour- 
geoisie of the whole world, a struggle of unprecedented dif- 
ficulty that has brought unprecedented victories, has demon- 
strated that the Petrograd workers are not only a model in 
the fulfilment of their duty but have also shown examples of 
the greatest heroism and of revolutionary enthusiasm and 
devotion such as the world has never before seen. 

Comrades, the fate of Petrograd is being decided! The 
enemy is trying to catch us unawares. His forces are weak, 
insignificant even, but he is strong because he is swift, 



because his officers are insolent and because he is well sup- 
plied and well armed. Help for Petrograd is near at hand, we 
have sent reinforcements. We are much stronger than the 
enemy. Fight to the last drop of blood, comrades, hold fast to 
every inch of land, be firm to the end, victory is near! 
Victory will be ours! 

V. Ulyanov (Lenin) 

October 17 

Petrogradskaya Pravda No. 237, 
October 19, 1919 

Published according to 
the manuscript 



Comrades, Red Army men! The tsarist generals — Yude- 
nich in the North and Denikin in the South — are once 
again bending every effort in an attempt to vanquish So- 
viet power and restore the power of the tsar, the landowners 
and the capitalists. 

We know how a similar attempt by Kolchak ended. He 
did not succeed in deceiving the workers of the Urals and 
the peasants of Siberia for long. Having seen through the 
deception and having suffered endless violence, floggings 
and robbery at the hands of the officers, the sons of land- 
owners and capitalists, the Ural workers and Siberian peas- 
ants helped our Red Army defeat Kolchak. The Orenburg 
Cossacks came straight over to the side of Soviet power. 

That is why we are fully confident in victory over 
Yudenich and Denikin. They will not succeed in restoring 
the power of the tsar and the landowners. That will never 
be! The peasants are already rising in Denikin's rear. The 
flames of revolt against Denikin are burning brightly in 
the Caucasus. The Kuban Cossacks are grumbling and stir- 
ring to action, resentful of Denikin's violence and robbery 
on behalf of the landowners and the British. 

Let us then be firm, comrades, Red Army men! The 
workers and peasants are rallying ever more solidly, con- 
sciously and resolutely to the side of the Soviet government. 

Forward, comrades, Red Army men, to the fight for the 
workers' and peasants' rule, against the landowners and 
the tsarist generals! Victory will be ours! 

October 19, 1919 N. Lenin 

Published in 1919 

Published according to 
the manuscript 



During Party Week in Moscow, 13,600 people were 
enrolled in the Party. 

This is a huge, quite unexpected success. The entire 
bourgeoisie, and especially the urban petty bourgeoisie, 
including the specialists, officials and office workers who 
lament the loss of their privileged "ruling" position — all 
these gentlemen have recently, particularly during Party 
Week in Moscow, been doing their best to sow panic and to 
prophesy the imminent collapse of Soviet power and the 
imminent victory of Denikin. 

And with what consummate artistry this "intellectualist" 
public wields the weapon of sowing panic! And it has indeed 
become a real weapon in the class struggle of the bourgeoi- 
sie against the proletariat. In periods such as the one we 
are passing through, the petty bourgeoisie merges in "one 
reactionary mass" with the bourgeoisie and "passionately" 
seizes on this weapon. 

It is Moscow, where the trading element was especially 
strong, where there was a greater concentration of exploit- 
ers, landowners, capitalists and rentiers than anywhere 
else, where capitalist development brought together a 
mass of bourgeois intellectuals, where the central state 
administration produced an especially large body of offici- 
als — it is Moscow that has furnished an exceptionally con- 
venient field for bourgeois tittle-tattle, bourgeois malicious 
talk and bourgeois panic-sowing. The successful offensive 
of Denikin and Yudenich was a 'factor" that favoured to an 
extraordinary extent the "successes" of this bourgeois weapon. 



And yet, when the mass of the proletarians saw Denikin's 
"successes" and realised all the difficulties, burdens and 
dangers attaching to the title and duties of a Communist 
at the present time, thousands and thousands of them rose 
up to reinforce the Party of Communists, to undertake the 
incredibly heavy burden of state administration. 

The success of Soviet power, the success of our Party, 
is truly remarkable! 

This success has proved and vividly demonstrated to the 
people of the capital, and then to the whole Republic and 
the whole world, that it is in the proletarian milieu, among 
the genuine representatives of the working people, that 
the most reliable source of the strength and durability of 
Soviet power is to be found. This successful voluntary 
enrolment in the Party at a time of maximum difficulty 
and danger is a real demonstration of that aspect of the 
dictatorship of the proletariat which its enemies, in their 
malice, refuse to see but which is valued above all by the 
real friends of the emancipation of labour from the capi- 
talist yoke, namely, the special strength of the moral (in 
the best sense of the word) influence of the proletariat (which 
wields state power) on the masses, the ways this influence 
is exerted. 

With state power in their hands, the foremost sections 
of the proletariat have by their example shown the mass 
of the working people, shown them throughout two whole 
years (an immense period for our exceptionally rapid tempo 
of political development), a model of such devotion to the 
interests of the working people, such vigour in the struggle 
against the enemies of the working people (against the 
exploiters in general and against "property-owners" and 
profiteers in particular), such firmness in difficult moments, 
such self-sacrificing resistance to the bandits of world 
imperialism, that the strength of the workers' and peasants' 
sympathy for their vanguard has proved by itself capable of 
performing miracles. 

It is indeed a miracle. Workers, who have suffered 
unprecedented torments of hunger, cold, economic ruin and 
devastation, are not only maintaining their cheerful spirit, 
their entire devotion to Soviet power, all the energy of 
self-sacrifice and heroism, but also, despite their lack of 



training and experience, are undertaking the burden of 
steering the ship of state! And this at a moment when the 
storm has reached the peak of its fury.... 

The history of our proletarian revolution is full of such 
miracles. They will lead, surely and inevitably, no matter 
what severe trials may be in store, to the full victory of 
the world Soviet republic. 

We must take care now that proper use is made of the 
new Party members. Particularly great attention must 
be devoted to this task, for it is not an easy one; it is a 
new task and cannot be accomplished by old routines. 

Capitalism stifled, suppressed and killed a wealth of 
talent among the workers and working peasants. These 
talents perished under the oppression of want, poverty and 
the outrage of human dignity. It is our duty now to bring 
out these talents and put them to work. The new members 
who have joined the Party during Party Week are undoubt- 
edly for the most part inexperienced and ignorant in 
matters of state administration. Equally undoubtedly 
these are most devoted, most sincere and capable people 
from the sections of society that capitalism artificially 
held down, reduced to the lowest level and did not allow 
to rise. Among them, however, there is more strength, 
vigour, staunchness, directness and sincerity than among 
other sections. 

It follows that all Party organisations must give espe- 
cial thought to the employment of these new Party mem- 
bers. They must be more boldly given the most varied kinds 
of state work, they must be tested in practice as rapidly 
as possible. 

Boldness, of course, must not be taken to mean that the 
new members are to be entrusted at once with responsible 
posts requiring knowledge they do not possess. We must be 
bold in combating red tape not for nothing has our Party 
Programme very definitely raised the question of the causes 
of a certain revival of bureaucratic methods and indicated 
methods of combating it. We must be bold in establishing, 
first of all, supervision over office workers, officials and 
specialists by new Party members who are well acquainted 
with the condition of the people, their needs and require- 
ments. We must be bold in immediately affording these 



new members opportunities for developing and displaying 
their abilities in work on a broad scale. We must be bold 
in breaking with customary routine (among us too — quite 
often, alas! — there is an excessive fear of encroaching on 
established Soviet routine, although sometimes the "estab- 
lishing" has been done not by class-conscious Communists, 
but by old officials and office workers); we must be bold 
in the sense that we must be prepared with revolutionary 
speed to alter the form of work for new Party members so 
as to test them more quickly and to find the appropriate 
place for them. 

In many cases new Party members can be given posts 
where, in the course of checking up the conscientiousness 
with which old officials perform their tasks, these Party 
members will quickly learn the job themselves and be able 
to take it over independently. In other cases they can be 
placed so as to renovate and refresh the intermediary links 
between the mass of workers and peasants on the one hand, 
and the state apparatus on the other. In our industrial 
"chief administrations and central boards", in our agricultural 
"state farms" there are still many, far too many, 
saboteurs, landowners and capitalists in hiding, who harm 
Soviet power in every way. Experienced Party workers in 
the centre and the localities should show their efficiency 
through their ability to make intensive use of the new Party 
forces for a determined fight against this evil. 

The Soviet Republic must become a single armed camp 
where there is a maximum of effort, a maximum economy 
of forces, a maximum reduction of all red tape and un- 
necessary formalism and a maximum simplification of the 
apparatus which must be not only as close as possible to 
the needs of the masses, but also something they can readily 
understand and participate in independently. 

Increased mobilisation of old Party members for army 
work is taking place. This activity must not be weakened 
in any way, but more and more intensified. At the same 
time, however, and with the aim of achieving success in 
the war, we must improve, simplify and revitalise our 
civil administration. 

Victory in war goes to the side whose people has greater 
reserves, greater sources of strength and greater endurance. 



We have more of all these qualities than the Whites, 
more than the "all-powerful" Anglo-French imperialism, 
this colossus with feet of clay. We have more of them because 
we can draw, and for a long time will continue to draw, 
more and more deeply upon the workers and working peas- 
ants, upon those classes which were oppressed by capitalism 
and which everywhere form the overwhelming majority 
of the population. We can draw from this most capacious 
reservoir, for it gives us leaders of the workers and peasants 
in the building of socialism who are most sincere, the 
most steeled by the burdens of life, the closest to the work- 
ers and peasants. 

Our enemies, whether the Russian or the world bourgeoi- 
sie, have nothing remotely resembling this reservoir; the 
ground is more and more giving way under their feet; they 
are being deserted by ever greater number of their former 
supporters among the workers and peasants. 

That is why, in the last analysis, the victory of Soviet 
power throughout the world is certain and inevitable. 

October 21, 1919 

Bulletin of the C.C., R.C.P.(B ) 
No. 7, October 22, 1919 
Signed: N. Lenin 

Published according to 

the text in Bulletin 
of the C.C., R.C.P.(B.) 



OCTOBER 24, 1919 

Comrades, you know it is not only the desire to celebrate 
the completion of the course of instruction at the Soviet 
school by the majority of you that has brought us here 
together, but also the decision taken by about a half the 
graduates to leave for the front to render fresh, extraordinary 
and substantial aid to the troops in action there. 

Comrades, we are well aware of the great difficulties 
being experienced by our entire administration in the towns 
and, especially, in the rural areas because of the shortage 
of experienced, knowledgeable comrades. We are also well 
aware that the advanced workers of Petrograd, Moscow, 
Ivanovo-Voznesensk and other towns, those advanced 
comrades who until now have been bearing what one might 
call the main burden of administering the country under 
unprecedentedly difficult conditions, who have been bear- 
ing the main burden of uniting the workers and peasants 
and giving them guidance — we are well aware that these 
comrades are extremely exhausted by the superhuman 
efforts at times required of them for the defence of the 
Soviet Republic. Therefore, the opportunity to gather 
together here several hundred workers and peasants and 
give them the possibility of studying regularly for a few 
months, to complete a course of Soviet studies and then 
leave here in a body, organised, mustered, politically- 
conscious to do the work of government and to make good 
the tremendous defects that still remain — such an oppor- 



tunity is of great value to us and it was with great difficulty 
and reluctance, and after considerable wavering that we 
took a decision to permit half the present graduation 
class to go to work at the front. The conditions obtaining 
at the front, however, are such that we were left with no 
other choice. And we were of the opinion that the decision, 
adopted voluntarily and for the purpose of dispatching 
to the front a number of the best people who would have 
been valuable in all administrative and organising work — 
this decision was called for by circumstances of undoubted 

Comrades, permit me to give you a short review of the 
situation now obtaining on the various fronts so that you 
may judge how urgent this necessity has become. 

On a number of fronts that were formerly extremely 
important and on which the enemy had placed great hopes, 
victory for our side has recently drawn nearer and it will, 
by all the signs, be complete and irrevocable. On the North- 
ern Front, where the offensive against Murmansk promised 
the enemy particularly great advantages and where the 
British had long ago mustered huge, excellently equipped 
forces and where we had unbelievable difficulty in fighting 
because of the lack of food and equipment — there, it seemed, 
the prospects for the British and French imperialists 
were of the brightest. It was there, however, that the enemy 
offensive collapsed completely. The British had to withdraw 
their troops, and we now have full confirmation that the 
British workers do not want war against Russia and even 
now, when Britain is far from the revolutionary struggle, 
they are able to bring such pressure to bear on their 
government of predators and plunderers that they can force 
them to withdraw their troops from Russia. They have been 
forced to abandon this front which was particularly dan- 
gerous because the enemy there was in possession of a sea 
route and was in a most favourable position. There are 
Russian whiteguard forces of practically no significance 
left there. 

Take another front — the Kolchak front. You know that 
when Kolchak's army advanced towards the Volga the 
capitalist press of Europe hurried to inform the whole 
world of the collapse of Soviet power and to recognise 



Kolchak as the Supreme Ruler of Russia. Before the document 
announcing this recognition reached Kolchak, however, 
our troops had pushed him back into Siberia and, as you 
know, we approached Petropavlovsk and the River Irtysh 
and Kolchak was compelled to deploy his forces diffe- 
rently from the way he had intended. Time was when we 
had to withdraw because the local workers and peasants 
were late in mustering their forces. Information received 
from behind Kolchak's lines tells of his undoubted debacle, 
and the population, even the affluent peasants, are rising 
against him to a man. We are approaching the time when 
the last stronghold of Kolchak's forces will be smashed 
and that will bring us to the end of a year of revolution in 
the course of which all Siberia was under Kolchak's rule 
and when he was helped by the Socialist-Revolutionaries 
and the Mensheviks who again went through the business 
of coming to an agreement with a bourgeois government. 
You know that all the European bourgeoisie helped Kol- 
chak. You know that the Siberian line was held by the 
Poles and Czechs, that there were also Italians there and 
American officer volunteers. Everything that might paralyse 
the revolution came to the aid of Kolchak. And it all col- 
lapsed because the peasants, the Siberian peasants, who 
least of all submit to the influence of communism because 
they see least of it, were given such a lesson by Kolchak, 
such a practical comparison (and peasants like practical 
comparisons) that we may say that Kolchak has given us a 
million supporters in districts the farthest removed from 
industrial centres where we should have had difficulty in 
winning them over. That is how Kolchak's power came 
to an end and that is why we feel our position to be most 
stable on that front. 

We can see that the Polish offensive on the Western 
Front is coming to an end. The Poles got help from Brit- 
ain, France and America who all tried to arouse Poland's 
ancient hatred towards her Great-Russian oppressors, 
tried to transfer the Polish workers' hatred of the land- 
owners and tsars, a hundred times deserved, to the Russian 
workers and peasants, and tried to make the Polish workers 
think that the Bolsheviks, like the Russian chauvinists, 
dream of conquering Poland. For the time being they were 



successful in this. But there are definite signs that the time 
when this fraud was effective is now over and that disin- 
tegration has set in in the Polish army. American reports 
that cannot be suspected of sympathy for communism affirm 
that there is a growing demand among the Polish peasants 
to finish the war by October I at all costs, and that this 
demand is supported by even the most patriotic of the 
Polish social-chauvinists (P.S.P.) 32 who occupy the same 
position as our Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries 
and are offering greater and greater opposition to their 
government. In recent times the mood of the Poles has 
changed considerably. 

That leaves two other fronts, the Petrograd and South- 
ern fronts, where the most important events are taking 
place. Here, too, all the signs indicate that the enemy is 
mustering his last forces. We have precise information to 
the effect that Secretary for War Churchill and the capi- 
talist party in Britain undertook this military venture 
against Petrograd to demonstrate the possibility of making 
a speedy end of Soviet Russia, and that the British press 
regards this venture as the last stake made by Mr. Chur- 
chill and the chauvinists against the undoubted will of 
the majority of the people. 

We may regard the Petrograd attack as a measure of 
help to Denikin; this conclusion may be drawn from the 
situation on the Petrograd Front. 

You know the Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian 
governments have agreed to our proposal to start peace 
negotiations. Naturally this last piece of news has caused 
some wavering among our troops, giving them hopes that 
the war is drawing to an end. The negotiations have begun. 
In the meantime Britain collected her remaining vessels 
and landed several thousand whiteguards equipped with 
magnificent war materiel. They cannot transport them 
to us, however, unless they lull the people by deception, 
because in both Britain and France there have been cases 
of attempts to load war materiel on to ships having failed 
because the dockers struck work and said that they would 
not allow steamers carrying weapons of destruction to 
Soviet Russia to be loaded. The British imperialists had 
to get armaments from other countries, hoodwinking their 



own people. No wonder, then, that they dispatched against 
Soviet Russia a few hundred or a few thousand Russian 
whiteguard officers. There are camps in Britain where these 
whiteguard officers are housed, fed and trained for the 
invasion of Russia; and then they say that this is an internal 
war brought about by the terrorism of the Bolsheviks. 
Camps that were once full of Russian prisoners of war are 
now full of Russian whiteguard officers. This accounts for 
the tremendous successes achieved by the enemy when he 
brought these forces up to the Petrograd Front at a time 
when we were expecting Latvia and Lithuania to conclude 
an armistice. You now know that the turning-points has been 
reached on the Petrograd Front. You know from the 
reports of Zinoviev and Trotsky that losses have been made 
up, that the former wavering has come to an end and that 
our forces are attacking, and attacking successfully, over- 
coming the most desperate resistance. These battles are 
outstanding in their extraordinary ferocity. Comrade Trotsky 
informed me by telephone from Petrograd that in Detskoye 
Selo, which we recently captured, whiteguards, and bour- 
geois who had remained behind, fired from individual 
houses, offering stubborn resistance, greater resistance 
than in any previous battles. The enemy feels that a turning- 
point has been reached in the entire war and that Denikin 
is in a position in which he must be helped and our 
forces attacking him diverted. It can be said definitely 
that they did not succeed in doing this. Everything we 
sent to help Petrograd was obtained without the slightest 
weakening of the Southern Front. Not a single unit for 
Petrograd was withdrawn from the Southern Front and 
that victory which we have begun to achieve and which we 
shall pursue to the end will be achieved without any weak- 
ening of the Southern Front where the outcome of the 
war against the landowners and the imperialists is being 
decided. That outcome will be there on the Southern Front, 
and in the near future. 

Comrades, you know that on the Southern Front, on the 
one hand, the enemy relied mainly on the Cossacks who 
were fighting for their privileges, and on the other hand, 
more regiments of the volunteer army had been formed there 
than elsewhere; these were troops full of savage resentment 



who fought for the interests of their class, for the restora- 
tion of the power of the landowners and capitalists. It is 
here, therefore, that we have to engage them in the decisive 
battle, and here we see the same as we saw in the case of 
Kolchak; at first he achieved tremendous success, but 
the longer the fighting went on, the thinner became the 
ranks of the officers and politically-conscious kulaks who 
formed the backbone of Kolchak's army, and the more 
workers and peasants he had to enlist. They like other 
people to do their fighting for them, they do not like making 
sacrifices themselves and prefer that the workers risk their 
necks in their interests. And when Kolchak had to expand 
his army, the expansion led to hundreds of thousands coming 
over to our side. Dozens of whiteguard officers and Cossacks 
who deserted to our side said that they had become con- 
vinced that Kolchak was selling Russia right and left, 
and although they did not share the views of the Bolsheviks 
they came over to the side of the Red Army. That is how 
Kolchak finished up and that is how Denikin will end up, 
too. Today you were able to read in the evening newspapers 
that there had been risings behind Denikin's lines — the 
Ukraine is aflame. We have reports of the events in the 
Caucasus where the mountain people, driven to despair, 
attacked Shkuro's regiments and took their rifles and 
ammunition away from them. Yesterday we received a 
foreign wireless message that admitted that Denikin's 
situation was a difficult one — he had been compelled to 
send his best forces into battle because the Ukraine was 
aflame and there was an uprising in the Caucasus. The 
time is coming when Denikin will have to stake everything. 
Never before have there been such ferocious, bloody battles 
as that at Orel, where the enemy sent his best regiments, 
the so-called "Kornilov" regiments, into battle; one-third 
of them were the most counter-revolutionary officers, the 
best trained and fiercest in their hatred of the workers and 
peasants, officers who were defending the restoration of 
their own landowners' rule. That is why we have every reason 
to believe that the decisive moment is approaching on the 
Southern Front. The victories at Orel and Voronezh where 
the pursuit of the enemy continues, show that here, as on 
the Petrograd Front, the turning-point has been reached. 



We must ensure that our offensive will develop from a 
petty, partial attack into a gigantic mass offensive that 
will bring us the final victory. 

That is why, no matter how great this sacrifice may be 
for us — the dispatch to the front of the hundreds of students 
gathered here and very obviously needed for work in Rus- 
sia — we have nevertheless granted you your wish. There, 
on the Petrograd and Southern fronts, the fate of the war 
will be decided, if not in weeks, then at most in months. 
At such a moment every politically-conscious Communist 
should say to himself, "My place is there, ahead of the 
others at the front, where every politically-conscious Com- 
munist who has graduated from this school is of value." 

If there has been some wavering among the troops it is 
only because the people have become tired of war. You are 
well aware of the hunger, ruination and torment that the 
workers and peasants have endured during these two years 
of struggle against the imperialists of the whole world. 
You know that those suffering mostly from fatigue will 
not stand up to the tension for long, and this is taken ad- 
vantage of by the enemy who has better communications, 
a better staff and no traitors, and he attacks in full force. 
This is the reason for our failures on the Southern Front. 
That is why the most politically-conscious of the workers 
and peasants, those who have had courses of military train- 
ing or courses similar to yours, must go to the front organ- 
ised and solid, dividing up into large or small groups 
as agreed upon by the military authorities, and distributing 
duties among themselves so as to help the troops among 
whom a certain instability is manifest and where the enemy 
is pressing most strongly. Throughout the two years' exis- 
tence of Soviet power, whenever a certain instability has 
made its appearance among the peasant masses who have 
never seen and do not know Soviet work, we have always 
appealed to the more organised section of the urban prole- 
tariat for help and have received the most heroic support 
from them. 

Today I saw comrades from among the Ivanovo-Vozne- 
sensk workers who have allotted half the Party officials in 
responsible posts for dispatch to the front. One of them 
told me today of the enthusiasm with which tens of thous- 



ands of non-party workers saw them off; one old man, 
a non-party worker, came up to them and said, "Don't 
worry, you may go, your place is there, we'll work for 
you here." When this mood makes itself apparent among 
non-party workers, when the non-party masses who are 
not yet quite clear on political questions see that we are 
sending the best of the workers and peasants to the front 
where they undertake the most difficult and most burden- 
some duties, duties of the greatest responsibility, where 
they will fight in the front ranks and make the greatest 
number of sacrifices, will die in desperate battles, then the 
number of our supporters among the less-developed non- 
party workers and peasants will increase tenfold and 
miracles will occur among troops that are wavering, weak 
and tired. 

That, comrades, is the magnificent, onerous and difficult 
task with which you are faced. There is no choice for those 
who are leaving for the front as representatives of the work- 
ers and peasants. Their slogan must be victory or death. 
Each of you must be able to approach the most backward, 
the least developed Red Army men in order to explain 
the situation to them in the most comprehensible language, 
from the standpoint of a man of labour, help them in a 
moment of difficulty, eliminate all wavering, teach them 
to fight against numerous manifestations of inertia, sabo- 
tage, deception or treachery. You know that there are still 
many such manifestations in the ranks and among the com- 
manders. Here people are needed who have been through 
a certain course of study, who understand the political 
situation and are able to help the masses of workers and 
peasants in their struggle against treachery and sabotage. 
Soviet power expects that you, in addition to displaying 
personal courage, will afford all-round help to those masses 
and so put an end to all wavering among them and show 
them that Soviet power possesses forces to resort to in a 
moment of difficulty. Those forces we possess in sufficient 

I repeat that we must now make this great sacrifice only 
because this is the main and the last front where, by all 
the signs, the fate of the whole Civil War will be decided 
within the next few weeks or months. Here we can once 



and for all deliver the enemy a blow that he will never 
recover from. After this bloody struggle against the white- 
guards, a struggle that they imposed on us, we shall at 
last be able to get on with our own affairs, with real 
development, more freely and with redoubled energy. That 
is why I greet those of you, comrades, who have taken upon 
yourselves the difficult and magnificent task of fighting to 
the end in the ranks at the front, and I bid you farewell 
in the full confidence that you will bring us complete and 
final victory. 

Pravda Nos. 240 and 241, 
October 26 and 28, 1919 

Published according to 
the Pravda text 



October 28, 1919 

Dear Friend, 

I thank you with all my heart for your letter, which is 
the more precious because we very rarely receive any from 

In France, as in England, victorious imperialism has not 
only enriched a certain number of small capitalists, but it 
has also been able to give alms to the upper grade of work- 
ers, the aristocracy of the working class, by throwing it a 
few crumbs from the imperialist exploit, won by the pillage 
of the colonies, and so on. 

But the crisis caused by the war is so serious that even 
in the conquering countries the working masses are inev- 
itably condemned to appalling misery. From this springs 
the rapid growth of communism and the increasing move- 
ment of sympathy towards the Soviet power and towards 
the Third International. 

It follows that you must maintain a long struggle still, 
especially with the very refined opportunists of the Longuet 
type; in the same way the experimenters and politi- 
cians will continue making effort after effort to make words 
suffice where it is a question of revolutionary tactics and 
of the dictatorship of the proletariat. In fact, they will 
continue to deceive the proletariat by means of new sub- 
terfuges, as Longuet, Merrheim and company did regarding 
the 21st of July. They will adhere to their old opportunist 
policy which consists in hindering the revolution and in 



prejudicing it in all ways. In France and in England the 
old rotten (pourris) leaders of the workers will make thous- 
ands of such attempts. 

But we are sure that the Communists who are working 
in close contact with the proletarian masses will succeed 
in paralysing and in breaking these attempts. The more the 
Communists are firm and energetic in their attitude, the 
sooner they will gain a complete victory. 

With communist greetings, 

N. Lenin 

Published in English 
in The Workers' Dreadnought 
No. 41, January 3, 1920 

First published in Russian in 1932 Published according to 

the manuscript 





October 28, 1919 

Dear Friends 

I have forwarded to you for publication a letter dated 
October 10, 1919, "Greetings to French, Italian and German 
Communists", in which I have referred, among other things, 
to your disagreements with the supporters of the boycott, 
the semi-syndicalists, etc. Today I have learned from the 
German government wireless message (from Nauen) about 
a split in your party: although the source is a filthy one, 
it is probably telling the truth in this case, because letters 
from our friends in Germany speak of the possibility of a 

The only thing that seems incredible is this radio report 
that with 25 votes against 18, you expelled the minority, 
which, they tell us, then set up a party of its own. I know 
very little about this breakaway opposition, for I have 
seen only a few issues of the Berlin Rote Fahne. My impres- 
sion is that they are very gifted propagandists, inexperienced 
and young, like our own Left Communists ("Left" due 
to lack of experience and youth) of 1918. Given agreement 
on the basic issue (for Soviet rule, against bourgeois parlia- 
mentarism), unity, in my opinion, is possible and neces- 
sary, just as a split is necessary with the Kautskyites. If 
the split was inevitable, efforts should be made not to deepen 
it, but to approach the Executive Committee of the Third 



International for mediation and to make the "Lefts" 
formulate their differences in theses and in a pamphlet. 
Restoration of unity in the Communist Party of Germany is 
both possible and necessary from the international stand- 
point. I would be extremely glad to get a letter from you on 
this subject. I am enclosing a letter to the breakaway 
group, and hope that you will forward it at the time of 
publishing my article, which, written before the news of 
the split was received, fully recognises the correctness of 
your standpoint. 

A hearty handshake and warm wishes for success to you 
in your difficult work. The communist movement is grow- 
ing splendidly throughout the world. It is slower than we 
would like, but broad, powerful, deep and invincible. As 
was the case in Russia, the stage of the dominance of the 
"Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries" (of the Second 
International) is discernible everywhere. This dominance 
will be succeeded by that of the Communists and the victory 
of the dictatorship of the proletariat and of Soviet govern- 

With communist greetings, 

N. Lenin 

First published in 1932 

Published according to 
the manuscript 



October 28, 1919 

Dear Comrades, 

Only today have I learned of the split from the brief 
wireless message of the German Government (from Nauen). 
My article, "Greetings to French, Italian and German 
Communists", was written before the news of the split 

In that article I tried, from the standpoint of interna- 
tional communism, to appraise your position, insofar as I 
could acquaint myself with it in some issues of the Berlin 
Rote Fahne. I am convinced that the Communists who are 
agreed on the basic issue (the fight for the dictatorship of 
the proletariat and for Soviet government) and are impla- 
cably hostile to the Scheidemann and the Kautsky groups 
in all nations, could and should have acted in unison. 
In my opinion, differences on less important issues can, 
and unfailingly will, vanish; this will result from the logic 
of the joint struggle against the really formidable enemy, 
the bourgeoisie, and its overt (Scheidemann) and covert 
(Kautsky) servitors. 

I am not a member of the Executive Committee of the 
Third International, but I believe it will offer the German 
Communists its good services in restoring German com- 
munist unity. It is not surprising that the furious perse- 
cutions, which have made the Party illegal, impeded its 
work and hindered a proper exchange of ideas and the 
elaboration of common tactics. A careful discussion of 



differences and an exchange of views on an international 
scale could assist in advancing the cause of German com- 
munism and in mustering its forces. 

I shall be very glad if we manage to exchange opinions 
on these questions. 

With communist greetings, 

N. Lenin 

First published in the Published according to 

Fourth (Russian) Edition the manuscript 

of the Collected Works 



October 28, 1919 

Dear Friend, 

The news we get from Italy is extremely scanty. It is 
only from the foreign (non-communist) press that we have 
learned of your Party Congress at Bologna and of the splen- 
did victory of communism. I send my heartfelt greetings 
to you and all the Italian Communists, and wish you every 
success. The example of the Italian Party will be of enor- 
mous significance to the whole world. In particular, the 
resolution of your Congress on participating in elections 
to the bourgeois parliament is in my opinion perfectly 
correct, and I hope that it will help to achieve unity in the 
Communist Party of Germany, which has just split on this 

There is no doubt that the overt and the covert oppor- 
tunists, who are so numerous among the parliamentarians 
in the Italian Party, will try to circumvent and nullify 
the Bologna resolutions. The struggle against these trends 
is by no means over, but the victory at Bologna will 
facilitate further victories. 

Difficult tasks lie ahead for the Italian proletariat owing 
to Italy's position in the international field. Britain and 
France, with the co-operation of the Italian bourgeoisie, 
may possibly try to provoke the Italian proletariat to a 
premature uprising in order the easier to crush it. But their 
provocation will fail. The brilliant work of the Italian 
Communists guarantees that they will be just as successful 
in winning the entire industrial and the entire rural pro- 
letariat plus the small peasants, and then, if the proper 



moment is chosen internationally, victory for the dictator- 
ship of the proletariat in Italy will be enduring. That is 
also guaranteed by the successes of the Communists in 
France, Britain and throughout the world. 

With communist greetings, 

N. Lenin 

Published in Italian in 
Avanti! (Rome) No. 332, 
December 5, 1919 

First published in 
Russian in 1932 

Published according to 
the manuscript 


Written September-October 1919 
First published in 1925 

Published according to 
the manuscript 


For treatment in the pamphlet the question falls into 
4 main sections: 

(A) The dictatorship of the proletariat as new forms 
of the class struggle of the proletariat (in other 
words: its new stage and new tasks). 

(B) The dictatorship of the proletariat as the destruc- 
tion of bourgeois democracy and the creation of 
proletarian democracy. 

(C) The dictatorship of the proletariat and the distin- 
guishing features of imperialism (or the imperialist 
stage of capitalism). 

(D) The dictatorship of the proletariat and Soviet power. 
Plan for the elaboration of these 4 sections: 


1. The chief reason why 
the "socialists" do not un- 
derstand the dictatorship of 
the proletariat is that they 
do not carry the idea of the 
class struggle to its logical 
conclusion (cf. Marx, 
1852). 35 

The dictatorship of the 
proletariat is the continuation 
of the class struggle of the 



proletariat in new forms. 
That is the crux of the mat- 
ter, and that is what they 
do not understand. 

The proletariat, as a spe- 
cial class, alone continues 
to wage its class struggle. 

2. The state is only a weap- 
on of the proletariat in its 
class struggle. A special kind 
of cudgel, rien de plusl* 

Old prejudices regarding 
the state (cf. The State and 
Revolution). New forms of 
the state — the subject of 
section B; here only the 
approach to it. 

3. The forms of the class 
struggle of the proletariat, 
under its dictatorship, can- 
not be what they were be- 
fore. Five new (principal) 
tasks and correspondingly 
five new forms: 

4. (1) Suppression of the 
resistance of the exploiters. 
This, as the task (and con- 
tent) of the epoch, is entirely 
forgotten by the opportunists 
and the "socialists". 


(aa) the special (higher) 
severity of the class struggle 

(PP) new forms of resistance 
corresponding to capitat- 

The resistance of the ex- 
ploiters begins before their 
overthrow and afterwards 
becomes intensified from two 
sides. A fight to a finish, 

Nothing more. — Ed. 



ism and its highest stage 
(plots + sabotage+ influence 
on the petty bourgeoisie, 
etc., etc.) and, in particular, 

or "talk one's way out" (Karl 
Kautsky, the petty bour- 
geoisie, the socialists). 

5. (2) (yy) Civil war. 

Revolution in general and 
civil war (1649, 1793) (cf. 
Karl Kautsky, 1902, in The 
Social Revolution). 

Civil war in the epoch of 
the international ties of cap- 

Transformation of impe- 
rialist war into civil 
war. (Ignorance and 
despicable cowardice of the 

Cf. Marx, 1870 36 : give 
the proletariat practice in 
arms. The epoch 1871-1914 
and the epoch of civil 

Civil war and the "de- 
struction" of the party (Karl 

Terror and civil war. 

f a) Russia, Hungary , 
J Finland, Germany, 
j p) Switzerland and Amer- 
L ica. 

+Inevitability of a com- 
bination of civil war with 
revolutionary wars (cf. Pro- 
gramme of the R.C.P.). 

6. (3) "Neutralisation" of 
the petty bourgeoisie, espe- 
cially the peasantry. 

Communist Manifesto (re- 
actionary and revolutionary 
"only in view of"). 

Karl Kautsky in the Ag- 
rarfrage. The same idea of 
neutralisation, only verball- 

The "ruling class". Rule 
precludes "liberty and equal- 

"To head", "to lead", "to 
take with", the class mean- 
ing of these concepts. 

Bowdlerised. — Ed. 



"Neutralisation" in prac- 
tice means 

suppression by force 
(Engels, 1895) 

persuasion, etc., etc. 
enlisting+suppression, "on- 
ly in view of". 

Peasant and worker. 
The peasant as a 
toiler and the peas- 
ant as an exploiter 
NB (profiteer, property- 
owner). "Only in view 
of." Vacillations in 
the course of the 
struggle. Experience 
of the struggle. 
"One reactionary mass": 
Engels, 1875, in respect 
of the Commune. 37 

7. (4) "Utilisation" of the 

"Specialists." Not only 
suppression of resistance, 
not only "neutralisation", 
but setting them to work, 
compelling them to serve 
the proletariat. 

Cf. Programme of the 
R.C.P. "Military Specialists." 

8. (5) Inculcation of a 
new discipline. 

(a) The dictatorship of 
the proletariat and the trade 

((3) Bonuses and piece 

(y) Party purge and its 

(8) "Communist subbo- 




9. Dictatorship and de- State and "liberty" (cf, 
mocracy as "general" ("pure", Engels, 1875). 38 
according to Karl Kautsky) 


Dictatorship as the denial 
of democracy. For whom? 

Abstract (petty-bourgeois) 
democratic view and Marx- 
ism (class struggle). 

Definition. Force (Engels). 

10. "Liberty." = Liberty 
for the commodity owner. 

Real liberty for the wage- 
workers, for the peasants. 
Liberty for the exploiters. 
Liberty for whom? 

from whom? from what? 
Liberty in what? 

11. "Equality." Engels in Equality of the commodity 
Anti-Duhring (prejudice, if owners. 

it goes beyond the abolition 
of classes). 39 

Equality between the ex- 
ploited and the exploiter. 

Equality between hungry 
and satiated. 

Equality between worker 
and peasant. 

Equality between whom? 
In what? 

12. Decision by majority. 
Its conditions: real equal- 
ity (culture) 



real freedom. 

Cf. press, assembly, etc. 

All are equal, leaving out 
of account money, capital, 

13. Decision by majority. 
Another condition for it = 
"conscientious" subordina- 

Utopia of reformism. 
Gilding of capitalism. 

14. Reality of the bour- 
geois-democratic republic. 

Engels on the connection 
of the government with 
the stock exchange and 
capital. 40 




pressure of capital 
(public opinion, etc.). 

15. The imperialist war 
of 1914-18 as the "last word" 
in bourgeois democracy. 

The "peace" of 1918-19. 
Foreign policy. 
Army and Navy. 

16. The bureaucracy. The 
courts. Militarism. 

Dictatorship of the bour- 
geoisie masked by parlia- 
mentary forms. 

First throw off the yoke 
of money, the power of cap- 
ital, abolish private prop- 
erty, then the slow growth 
of "conscientiousness" on 
this new basis. 

Formal equality while 
bourgeois oppression, the 
yoke of capital, and wage- 
slavery are preserved. 



17. Decision by majority 
and strength of majority. 51 
per cent of the "proletariat". 

f Imperialist 
I influence 
I status of 
\ petty 

etc., "semi- 
h proletariat" 

versus 20 
per cent 
+ 40 l h per 

18. Peaceful voting and 
sharpened class struggle. 

Economic and political 
conditions for sharpening of 
class struggle. 

19. Reality of democracy 
under proletarian democ- 

Achievements of democ- 
racy: congresses, meetings, 
press, religion, women, op- 
pressed nations. 

20. The historical change 
from bourgeois democracy to 
proletarian democracy. 

"Growing over", "creeping 
into", or the break-up of the 
former and birth of the lat- 
ter? = Revolution, or without 
revolution? Conquest of 
political power by the new 
class, overthrow of the bour- 
geoisie, or a deal, a com- 
promise between classes? 

Decision of "a/Z"? despite 
waverers and excluding 

Motives of referendums 
(bourgeois surroundings). 

First "decide", then 
quietly vote? 

First the development of 
.the class struggle. 

Destruction of the bour- 
geois surroundings, their real 
conditions of motivation of 




21. Imperialism as the 
highest stage of capitalism. 

Resume of my book. 

22. The colonies and de- 
pendent countries. 

Revolt of the proletariat 
against the bourgeoisie of 
its own country+revolt of 
the nations in the colonies 
and dependent countries. 

Revolutionary proletarian 
wars and national wars (cf. 
Programme of the R.C.P.). 

23. Seizure of territory by 
the League of Nations. 

A "single" oppressor. Con- 
centration of the struggle. 
Variety of stages. 

24. The bourgeois upper 
layer of the proletariat. 

1852-92, Engels and 
Marx. 41 

1872, Marx on the leaders Two chief "streams": the 
of the British trade unions. 42 corrupt and the philistines. 

Labour lieutenants of the 
capitalist class.* 


This sentence is in English in the original. — Ed. 


Split of 1915-17, "Centre". Vorwarts ("Radikalisie- 
" " 1917-19 (cf. Pro- rung der englischen Arbei- 
gramme of the R.C.P.). ter") ... "eine gewisse Gros- 

se"* of Bolsheviks. 

Wiener Arbeiter Zeitung 
No. 180 (July 2, 1919) 

Friedrich Adler in his 
speech. 222 [in its to- 
tality] — the sophistry of a 

25. Two Internationals. 
Dictatorship of the revolu- 
tionary elements of the class. 

One country and the whole 


26. Origin of the Soviets. 
1905 and 1917. 

27. Peculiarities of Russia. 
Kautsky: "Slavs and Rev- 

28. Soviets and "compro- 

March-October 1917. 
Mensheviks and Socialist- 

29. Ignorance and stupid- 
ity of leaders of the Second 
International. Nothing about 

Kautsky in his pamphlet, 
August 1918. 

Soviets for the struggle, 
but not for state power! 

(1894 (Struve) and 1899 
Mensheviks and Socialist- 
... (in Europe). 

Radicalisation of the British workers ... a certain number. — Ed. 



30. But the proletarian 
masses see it differently: 
class instinct! 

31. Triumphal march of 
the Soviet idea through the 

The form of the dictator- 
ship of the proletariat dis- 
covered (by the mass move- 
ment of the proletariat)! 

The Third International. 

Direct and indirect (in- 
clusion in the German Con- 
stitution) victory of the So- 
viet idea. 

The idea has won over 
the masses. 

32. Soviet Constitution of 
the R.S.F.S.R. 
N.B. its §23 43 

1793-94 versus 1917-19. 

Ja*~+^CA>^S /•c*Vi-~*^6c^t*. t>p!-<~-^yy. / py*^^.^*. f ~ 

*M4W«-< . &v 6 " t-^/l—^- * m **-^A.JLt^^**-<*? *^-r^Ai A^ 

■<* « » • pf- • ^*^<"-« •-- — / *y><y / — ^wf.- 

/ix^r—^. i^t-c^Up At ^t<«VSl- -«uu^ 

— *Aza*-ai-a ^^-Z^L^^Zjr ^cj-a-^BL—^fyfry^ 

First page of Lenin's manuscript "Economics and Politics in the 
Era of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat". October 30, 1919. 



I had intended to write a short pamphlet on the subject 
indicated in the title on the occasion of the second anniver- 
sary of Soviet power. But owing to the rush of everyday 
work I have so far been unable to get beyond preliminary 
preparations for some of the sections. I have therefore 
decided to essay a brief, summarised exposition of what, 
in my opinion, are the most essential ideas on the subject. 
A summarised exposition, of course, possesses many disad- 
vantages and shortcomings. Nevertheless, a short magazine 
article may perhaps achieve the modest aim in view, which 
is to present the problem and the groundwork for its dis- 
cussion by the Communists of various countries. 


Theoretically, there can be no doubt that between capi- 
talism and communism there lies a definite transition period 
which must combine the features and properties of both 
these forms of social economy. This transition period has 
to be a period of struggle between dying capitalism and 
nascent communism — or, in other words, between capi- 
talism which has been defeated but not destroyed and 
communism which has been born but is still very feeble. 

The necessity for a whole historical era distinguished 
by these transitional features should be obvious not only 
to Marxists, but to any educated person who is in any 
degree acquainted with the theory of development. Yet all 
the talk on the subject of the transition to socialism which 



we hear from present-day petty-bourgeois democrats (and 
such, in spite of their spurious socialist label, are all the 
leaders of the Second International, including such indi- 
viduals as MacDonald, Jean Longuet, Kautsky and Fried- 
rich Adler) is marked by complete disregard of this obvious 
truth. Petty-bourgeois democrats are distinguished by an 
aversion to class struggle, by their dreams of avoiding it, 
by their efforts to smooth over, to reconcile, to remove 
sharp corners. Such democrats, therefore, either avoid 
recognising any necessity for a whole historical period of 
transition from capitalism to communism or regard it as 
their duty to concoct schemes for reconciling the two con- 
tending forces instead of leading the struggle of one of these 


In Russia, the dictatorship of the proletariat must inev- 
itably differ in certain particulars from what it would be 
in the advanced countries, owing to the very great back- 
wardness and petty-bourgeois character of our country. 
But the basic forces — and the basic forms of social economy — 
are the same in Russia as in any capitalist country, so that 
the peculiarities can apply only to what is of lesser impor- 

The basic forms of social economy are capitalism, petty 
commodity production, and communism. The basic forces 
are the bourgeoisie, the petty bourgeoisie (the peasantry in 
particular) and the proletariat. 

The economic system of Russia in the era of the dictator- 
ship of the proletariat represents the struggle of labour, 
united on communist principles on the scale of a vast 
state and making its first steps — the struggle against 
petty commodity production and against the capitalism 
which still persists and against that which is newly arising 
on the basis of petty commodity production. 

In Russia, labour is united communistically insofar as, 
first, private ownership of the means of production has 
been abolished, and, secondly, the proletarian state power 
is organising large-scale production on state-owned land 
and in state-owned enterprises on a national scale, is dis- 



tributing labour-power among the various branches of 
production and the various enterprises, and is distributing 
among the working people large quantities of articles of 
consumption belonging to the state. 

We speak of "the first steps" of communism in Russia 
(it is also put that way in our Party Programme adopted in 
March 1919), because all these things have been only par- 
tially effected in our country, or, to put it differently, 
their achievement is only in its early stages. We accom- 
plished instantly, at one revolutionary blow, all that can, in 
general, be accomplished instantly; on the first day of the 
dictatorship of the proletariat, for instance, on October 
26 (November 8), 1917, the private ownership of land was 
abolished without compensation for the big landowners — 
the big landowners were expropriated. Within the space 
of a few months practically all the big capitalists, owners 
of factories, joint-stock companies, banks, railways, 
and so forth, were also expropriated without com- 
pensation. The state organisation of large-scale production 
in industry and the transition from "workers' control" 
to "workers' management" of factories and railways — 
this has, by and large, already been accomplished; but in 
relation to agriculture it has only just begun ("state farms", 
i.e., large farms organised by the workers' state on state- 
owned land). Similarly, we have only just begun the 
organisation of various forms of co-operative societies of small 
farmers as a transition from petty commodity agriculture 
to communist agriculture.* The same must be said of the 
state-organised distribution of products in place-of private 
trade, i.e., the state procurement and delivery of grain to 
the cities and of industrial products to the countryside. 
Available statistical data on this subject will be given below. 

Peasant farming continues to be petty commodity pro- 
duction. Here we have an extremely broad and very sound, 
deep-rooted basis for capitalism, a basis on which capi- 
talism persists or arises anew in a bitter struggle against 

* The number of "state farms" and "agricultural communes" in 
Soviet Russia is, as far as is known, 3,536 and 1,961 respectively, and 
the number of agricultural artels is 3,696. Our Central Statistical 
Board is at present taking an exact census of all state farms and 
communes. The results will begin coming in in November 1919. 



communism. The forms of this struggle are private spec- 
ulation and profiteering versus state procurement of grain 
(and other products) and state distribution of products 
in general. 


To illustrate these abstract theoretical propositions, 
let us quote actual figures. 

According to the figures of the People's Commissariat 
of Food, state procurements of grain in Russia between 
August 1, 1917, and August 1, 1918, amounted to about 
30,000,000 poods, and in the following year to about 
110,000,000 poods. During the first three months of the 
next campaign (1919-20) procurements will presumably 
total about 45,000,000 poods, as against 37,000,000 poods 
for the same period (August-October) in 1918. 

These figures speak clearly of a slow but steady improve- 
ment in the state of affairs from the point of view of 
the victory of communism over capitalism. This improve- 
ment is being achieved in spite of difficulties without 
world parallel, difficulties due to the Civil War organised 
by Russian and foreign capitalists who are harnessing all 
the forces of the world's strongest powers. 

Therefore, in spite of the lies and slanders of the bour- 
geoisie of all countries and of their open or masked henchmen 
(the "socialists" of the Second International), one thing 
remains beyond dispute — as far as the basic economic 
problem of the dictatorship of the proletariat is concerned, 
the victory of communism over capitalism in our country 
is assured. Throughout the world the bourgeoisie is raging 
and fuming against Bolshevism and is organising military 
expeditions, plots, etc., against the Bolsheviks, because 
it realises full well that our success in reconstructing the 
social economy is inevitable, provided we are not crushed 
by military force. And its attempts to crush us in this 
way are not succeeding. 

The extent to which we have already vanquished capi- 
talism in the short time we have had at our disposal, and 
despite the incredible difficulties under which we have had 
to work, will be seen from the following summarised figures. 



The Central Statistical Board has just prepared for 
the press data on the production and consumption of grain — 
not for the whole of Soviet Russia, but only for twenty-six 

The results are as follows: 

26 gubernias 
of Soviet 

Population in 



Grain deliv- 
ered, millions 

nt of 


grain (excl' 
seed and fo 
millions po 

sariat of 


Total amou 
grain at di 
of populati 
millions po 

Grain cons 
tion, poods 



Urban 4.4 
Rural 28.6 
Urban 5.9 
Rural 13.8 










Total (26 







Thus, approximately half the amount of grain supplied 
to the cities is provided by the Commissariat of Food and 
the other half by profiteers. This same proportion is revealed 
by a careful survey, made in 1918, of the food consumed 
by city workers. It should be borne in mind that for bread 
supplied by the state the worker pays one-ninth of what 
he pays the profiteer. The profiteering price for bread is 
ten times greater than the state price; this is revealed by a 
detailed study of workers' budgets. 


A careful study of the figures quoted shows that they 
present an exact picture of the fundamental features of 
Russia's present-day economy. 

The working people have been emancipated from their 
age-old oppressors and exploiters, the landowners and 
capitalists. This step in the direction of real freedom and 
real equality, a step which for its extent, dimensions and 



rapidity is without parallel in the world, is ignored by the 
supporters of the bourgeoisie (including the petty- 
bourgeois democrats), who, when they talk of freedom and 
equality, mean parliamentary bourgeois democracy, which 
they falsely declare to be "democracy" in general, or "pure 
democracy" (Kautsky). 

But the working people are concerned only with real 
equality and real freedom (freedom from the landowners 
and capitalists), and that is why they give the Soviet 
government such solid support. 

In this peasant country it was the peasantry as a whole 
who were the first to gain, who gained most, and gained 
immediately from the dictatorship of the proletariat. 
The peasant in Russia starved under the landowners and 
capitalists. Throughout the long centuries of our history, 
the peasant never had an opportunity to work for himself: 
he starved while handing over hundreds of millions of poods 
of grain to the capitalists, for the cities and for export. 
Under the dictatorship of the proletariat the peasant for 
the first time has been working for himself and feeding 
better than the city dweller. For the first time the peasant 
has seen real freedom — freedom to eat his bread, freedom 
from starvation. In the distribution of the land, as we 
know, the maximum equality has been established; in 
the vast majority of cases the peasants are dividing the 
land according to the number of "mouths to feed". 

Socialism means the abolition of classes. 

In order to abolish classes it is necessary, first, to over- 
throw the landowners and capitalists. This part of our 
task has been accomplished, but it is only a part, and 
moreover, not the most difficult part. In order to abolish 
classes it is necessary, secondly, to abolish the difference 
between factory worker and peasant, to make workers of all 
of them. This cannot be done all at once. This task is 
incomparably more difficult and will of necessity take a 
long time. It is not a problem that can be solved by over- 
throwing a class. It can be solved only by the organisational 
reconstruction of the whole social economy, by a transition 
from individual, disunited, petty commodity production 
to large-scale social production. This transition must of 
necessity be extremely protracted. It may only be delayed 



and complicated by hasty and incautious administrative 
and legislative measures. It can be accelerated only by 
affording such assistance to the peasant as will enable him 
to effect an immense improvement in his whole farming 
technique, to reform it radically. 

In order to solve the second and most difficult part of 
the problem, the proletariat, after having defeated the 
bourgeoisie, must unswervingly conduct its policy towards 
the peasantry along the following fundamental lines. The 
proletariat must separate, demarcate the working peasant 
from the peasant owner, the peasant worker from the 
peasant huckster, the peasant who labours from the peasant 
who profiteers. 

In this demarcation lies the whole essence of socialism. 

And it is not surprising that the socialists who are social- 
ists in word but petty-bourgeois democrats in deed (the 
Martovs, the Chernovs, the Kautskys and others) do not 
understand this essence of socialism. 

The demarcation we here refer to is an extremely difficult 
one, because in real life all the features of the "peasant", 
however diverse they may be, however contradictory they 
may be, are fused into one whole. Nevertheless, demarcation 
is possible; and not only is it possible, it inevitably follows 
from the conditions of peasant farming and peasant life. 
The working peasant has for ages been oppressed by the 
landowners, the capitalists, the hucksters and profiteers 
and by their state, including even the most democratic 
bourgeois republics. Throughout the ages the working 
peasant has trained himself to hate and loathe these 
oppressors and exploiters, and this "training", engendered 
by the conditions of life, compels the peasant to seek an 
alliance with the worker against the capitalist and against 
the profiteer and huckster. Yet at the same time, economic 
conditions, the conditions of commodity production, 
inevitably turn the peasant (not always, but in the vast 
majority of cases) into a huckster and profiteer. 

The statistics quoted above reveal a striking difference 
between the working peasant and the peasant profiteer. 
That peasant who during 1918-19 delivered to the hungry 
workers of the cities 40,000,000 poods of grain at fixed 
state prices, who delivered this grain to the state agencies 



despite all the shortcomings of the latter, shortcomings 
fully realised by the workers' government, but which were 
unavoidable in the first period of the transition to social- 
ism — that peasant is a working peasant, the comrade 
and equal of the socialist worker, his most faithful ally, 
his blood brother in the fight against the yoke of capital. 
Whereas that peasant who clandestinely sold 40,000,000 
poods of grain at ten times the state price, taking advan- 
tage of the need and hunger of the city worker, deceiving 
the state, and everywhere increasing and creating deceit, 
robbery and fraud — that peasant is a profiteer, an ally of 
the capitalist, a class enemy of the worker, an exploiter. 
For whoever possesses surplus grain gathered from land 
belonging to the whole state with the help of implements 
in which in one way or another is embodied the labour 
not only of the peasant but also of the worker and so on — 
whoever possesses a surplus of grain and profiteers in that 
grain is an exploiter of the hungry worker. 

You are violators of freedom, equality, and democracy — 
they shout at us on all sides, pointing to the inequality 
of the worker and the peasant under our Constitution, to 
the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, to the for- 
cible confiscation of surplus grain, and so forth. We reply — 
never in the world has there been a state which has done 
so much to remove the actual inequality, the actual lack 
of freedom from which the working peasant has been suffer- 
ing for centuries. But we shall never recognise equality 
with the peasant profiteer, just as we do not recognise 
"equality" between the exploiter and the exploited, between 
the sated and the hungry, nor the "freedom" for the former 
to rob the latter. And those educated people who refuse 
to recognise this difference we shall treat as whiteguards, 
even though they may call themselves democrats, socialists, 
internationalists, Kautskys, Chernovs, or Martovs. 


Socialism means the abolition of classes. The dictatorship 
of the proletariat has done all it could to abolish classes. 
But classes cannot be abolished at one stroke. 



And classes still remain and will remain in the era of 
the dictatorship of the proletariat. The dictatorship will 
become unnecessary when classes disappear. Without the 
dictatorship of the proletariat they will not disappear. 

Classes have remained, but in the era of the dictatorship 
of the proletariat every class has undergone a change, 
and the relations between the classes have also changed. 
The class struggle does not disappear under the dictatorship 
of the proletariat; it merely assumes different forms. 

Under capitalism the proletariat was an oppressed class, 
a class which had been deprived of the means of production, 
the only class which stood directly and completely opposed 
to the bourgeoisie, and therefore the only one capable of 
being revolutionary to the very end. Having overthrown 
the bourgeoisie and conquered political power, the prole- 
tariat has become the ruling class; it wields state power, 
it exercises control over means of production already so- 
cialised; it guides the wavering and intermediary elements 
and classes; it crushes the increasingly stubborn resistance 
of the exploiters. All these are specific tasks of the class 
struggle, tasks which the proletariat formerly did not and 
could not have set itself. 

The class of exploiters, the landowners and capitalists, 
has not disappeared and cannot disappear all at once under 
the dictatorship of the proletariat. The exploiters have 
been smashed, but not destroyed. They still have an inter- 
national base in the form of international capital, of which 
they are a branch. They still retain certain means of pro- 
duction in part, they still have money, they still have vast 
social connections. Because they have been defeated, the 
energy of their resistance has increased a hundred- and a 
thousandfold. The "art" of state, military and economic 
administration gives them a superiority, and a very great 
superiority, so that their importance is incomparably 
greater than their numerical proportion of the population. 
The class struggle waged by the overthrown exploiters 
against the victorious vanguard of the exploited, i.e., the 
proletariat, has become incomparably more bitter. And it 
cannot be otherwise in the case of a revolution, unless 
this concept is replaced (as it is by all the heroes of the 
Second International) by reformist illusions. 



Lastly, the peasants, like the petty bourgeoisie in 
general, occupy a half-way, intermediate position even under 
the dictatorship of the proletariat: on the one hand, they 
are a fairly large (and in backward Russia, a vast) mass 
of working people, united by the common interest of all 
working people to emancipate themselves from the 
landowner and the capitalist; on the other hand, they are 
disunited small proprietors, property-owners and traders. 
Such an economic position inevitably causes them to vacil- 
late between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. In view 
of the acute form which the struggle between these two 
classes has assumed, in view of the incredibly severe break- 
up of all social relations, and in view of the great attachment 
of the peasants and the petty bourgeoisie generally to the 
old, the routine, and the unchanging, it is only natural 
that we should inevitably find them swinging from one 
side to the other, that we should find them wavering, 
changeable, uncertain, and so on. 

In relation to this class — or to these social elements — 
the proletariat must strive to establish its influence over 
it, to guide it. To give leadership to the vacillating and 
unstable — such is the task of the proletariat. 

If we compare all the basic forces or classes and their 
interrelations, as modified by the dictatorship of the pro- 
letariat, we shall realise how unutterably nonsensical 
and theoretically stupid is the common petty-bourgeois 
idea shared by all representatives of the Second Interna- 
tional, that the transition to socialism is possible "by means 
of democracy" in general. The fundamental source of this 
error lies in the prejudice inherited from the bourgeoisie 
that "democracy" is something absolute and above classes. 
As a matter of fact, democracy itself passes into an 
entirely new phase under the dictatorship of the 
proletariat, and the class struggle rises to a higher level, 
dominating over each and every form. 

General talk about freedom, equality and democracy is 
in fact but a blind repetition of concepts shaped by the 
relations of commodity production. To attempt to solve 
the concrete problems of the dictatorship of the proletariat 
by such generalities is tantamount to accepting the theo- 
ries and principles of the bourgeoisie in their entirety. 



From the point of view of the proletariat, the question can 
be put only in the following way: freedom from oppression 
by which class? equality of which class with which? 
democracy based on private property, or on a struggle for 
the abolition of private property? — and so forth. 

Long ago Engels in his Anti-Diihring explained that the 
concept "equality" is moulded from the relations of com- 
modity production; equality becomes a prejudice if it is 
not understood to mean the abolition of classes. This ele- 
mentary truth regarding the distinction between the bour- 
geois-democratic and the socialist conception of equality 
is constantly being forgotten. But if it is not forgotten 
it becomes obvious that by overthrowing the bourgeoisie 
the proletariat takes the most decisive step towards the 
abolition of classes, and that in order to complete the 
process the proletariat must continue its class struggle, 
making use of the apparatus of state power and employing 
various methods of combating, influencing and bringing 
pressure to bear on the overthrown bourgeoisie and the 
vacillating petty bourgeoisie. 

(To be continued) 


October 30, 1919 

Pravda No. 250, 
November 7, 1919 
Signed: N. Lenin 

Published according to 
the manuscript 



The workers of Petrograd deserve the first message of 
greeting on the occasion of the second anniversary of the 
Soviet Republic. The Petrograd workers, as the vanguard 
of the revolutionary workers and soldiers, as the vanguard 
of the working people of Russia and the whole world, were 
the first to overthrow the rule of the bourgeoisie and raise 
the banner of the proletarian revolution against capitalism 
and imperialism. 

For two years the workers and labouring peasants of 
the Soviet Republic have triumphantly held high that 
banner despite all difficulties and all the torments of hunger, 
cold, chaos and economic ruin. Two years of socialist de- 
velopment have given us extensive experience, have enabled 
us to consolidate Soviet power despite the malicious fury 
and resistance of the bourgeoisie and the military attack 
by world imperialism. 

On our side we have the sympathy of the world's workers. 
The proletarian revolution is maturing slowly and with 
difficulty, but persistently in all countries, and the brutal 
violence of the bourgeoisie only exacerbates the struggle, 
only hastens the victory of the proletariat. 

Very recently the British reactionaries, the imperialists, 
made their last stake on the capture of Petrograd. The 
bourgeoisie of the entire world, especially the Russian 
bourgeoisie, already had a foretaste of victory. But instead 
of victory they met with defeat at Petrograd. 

Yudenich's forces have been beaten and are retreating. 

Comrades, workers and Red Army soldiers! Bend all your 
efforts! Keep on the heels of the retreating troops at all 
costs, crush them, do not allow them to rest for an hour, 



for a single minute. At this moment we can and must strike 
harder than ever in order to finish off the enemy. 

Long live the Red Army that is defeating the tsarist 
generals, whiteguards and capitalists! Long live the inter- 
national Soviet Republic! 

N. Lenin 

November 5, 1919 

Petrogradskaya Pravda No. 255, 
November 7, 1919 

Published according to 
the manuscript 



The second anniversary of Soviet power is an occasion 
for taking stock of what has been done during this period 
and for reflecting on the significance and the aims of the 
revolution that has been accomplished. 

The bourgeoisie and its supporters charge us with having 
violated democracy. We, on the other hand, assert that 
the Soviet revolution has given an unprecedented impulse 
to the development of democracy in breadth and in depth, 
democracy, that is, for the working people oppressed by 
capitalism, democracy for the overwhelming majority of 
the people, socialist democracy (for the working people), 
as distinct from bourgeois democracy (for the exploiters, 
for the capitalists, for the rich). 

Who is right? 

To give proper thought to this question and achieve a 
deeper understanding of it one must take stock of the expe- 
rience of these two years and make better preparations for 
further development. 

The status of women makes clear in the most striking 
fashion the difference between bourgeois and socialist 
democracy and furnishes a most effective reply to the ques- 
tion posed. 

In a bourgeois republic (i.e., where there is private 
ownership of land, factories, shares, etc.), be it the most 
democratic republic, women have never had rights fully 
equal to those of men, anywhere in the world, in any one 
of the more advanced countries. And this despite the fact 
that more than 125 years have passed since the great French 
(bourgeois-democratic) Revolution. 



In words bourgeois democracy promises equality and 
freedom, but in practice not a single bourgeois republic, 
even the more advanced, has granted women (half the human 
race) and men complete equality in the eyes of the law, 
or delivered women from dependence on and the oppression 
of the male. 

Bourgeois democracy is the democracy of pompous 
phrases, solemn words, lavish promises and high-sounding 
slogans about freedom and equality, but in practice all 
this cloaks the lack of freedom and the inequality of women, 
the lack of freedom and the inequality for the working and 
exploited people. 

Soviet or socialist democracy sweeps away these pompous 
but false words and declares ruthless war on the hypocrisy 
of "democrats", landowners, capitalists and farmers with 
bursting bins who are piling up wealth by selling surplus 
grain to the starving workers at profiteering prices. 

Down with this foul lie! There is no "equality", nor can 
there be, of oppressed and oppressor, exploited and exploi- 
ter. There is no real "freedom", nor can there be, so long 
as women are handicapped by men's legal privileges, so 
long as there is no freedom for the worker from the yoke 
of capital, no freedom for the labouring peasant from the 
yoke of the capitalist, landowner and merchant. 

Let the liars and the hypocrites, the obtuse and the blind, 
the bourgeois and their supporters, try to deceive the 
people with talk about freedom in general, about equality 
in general and about democracy in general. 

We say to the workers and peasants — tear the mask from 
these liars, open the eyes of the blind. Ask them: 

Is there equality of the two sexes? 

Which nation is the equal of which? 

Which class is the equal of which? 

Freedom from what yoke or from the yoke of which 
class? Freedom for which class? 

He who speaks about politics, democracy and freedom, 
about equality, about socialism, without posing these 
questions, without giving them priority, who does not 
fight against hushing them up, concealing and blunting 
them, is the worst enemy of the working people, a wolf 
in sheep's clothing, the rabid opponent of the workers and 



peasants, a lackey of the landowners, the tsars and the 

In the course of two years of Soviet power in one of the 
most backward countries of Europe more has been done 
to emancipate woman, to make her the equal of the "strong" 
sex, than has been done during the past 130 years by all 
the advanced, enlightened, "democratic" republics of the 
world taken together. 

Education, culture, civilisation, freedom — all these high- 
sounding words are accompanied in all the capitalist, 
bourgeois republics of the world with incredibly foul, 
disgustingly vile, bestially crude laws that make women 
unequal in marriage and divorce, that make the child born 
out of wedlock and the "legally born" child unequal and 
that give privileges to the male and humiliate and degrade 

The yoke of capital, the oppression of "sacred private 
property", the despotism of philistine obtuseness, the 
avarice of the small property-owner — these are the things 
that have prevented the most democratic bourgeois republics 
from abolishing these foul and filthy laws. 

The Soviet Republic, the republic of workers and peas- 
ants, wiped out these laws at one stroke and did not leave 
standing a single stone of the edifice of bourgeois lies and 
bourgeois hypocrisy. 

Down with this lie! Down with the liars who speak about 
freedom and equality for all, while there is an oppressed 
sex, oppressing classes, private ownership of capital and 
shares and people with bursting bins who use their surplus 
grain to enslave the hungry. Instead of freedom for all, 
instead of equality for all, let there be struggle against 
the oppressors and exploiters, let the opportunity to oppress 
and exploit be abolished. That is our slogan! 

Freedom and equality for the oppressed sex! 

Freedom and equality for the workers and labouring 

Struggle against the oppressors, struggle against the 
capitalists, struggle against the kulak profiteers! 

This is our fighting slogan, this is our proletarian truth, 
the truth of the fight against capital, the truth that we hurl 
in the face of the world of capital with its honeyed, hypo- 



critical and pompous phrases about freedom and equality 
in general, about freedom and equality for all. 

And it is because we have laid bare this hypocrisy, 
because, with revolutionary vigour, we are ensuring freedom 
and full rights for the oppressed working people, against 
the oppressors, against the capitalists, against the kulaks— 
precisely because of this Soviet rule has become so dear to 
the workers of the whole world. 

It is because of this, the sympathies of the working 
masses, the sympathies of the oppressed and exploited 
in all countries of the world are with us on this occasion 
of the second anniversary of Soviet rule. 

Because of this, on the occasion of the second anniver- 
sary of Soviet rule, despite the famine and cold, despite 
all the suffering caused by the imperialists' invasion of 
the Russian Soviet Republic, we are fully convinced of the 
justness of our cause, firmly convinced of the inevitable 
victory of Soviet power on a world scale. 

Pravda No. 249, 
November 6, 1919 
Signed: N. Lenin 

Published according to 
the Pravda text 



The newspaper Bednota 45 is read mostly by peasants. 
On this, the second, anniversary of the establishment of 
Soviet power, I wish to extend greetings to the many mil- 
lions of working peasants who have been liberated from 
landowner and capitalist oppression and say a few words 
about that liberation. 

Soviet power, which overthrew the rule of capital and 
placed power in the hands of the working people, has to 
contend in Russia with unparalleled and incredible difficul- 

The landowners and capitalists of Russia, now joined 
by the landowners and capitalists of the whole world, are 
still making frenzied attempts to destroy Soviet power. They 
fear the example it has set; they fear that it will win the 
sympathy and support of workers the world over. 

Conspiracies within the country, the bribing of the Czech- 
oslovak forces, the landing of foreign troops in Siberia, 
Archangel, the Caucasus, South Russia and near Petrograd, 
the hundreds of millions of rubles being spent to help Kol- 
chak, Denikin, Yudenich and other tsarist generals — every 
conceivable method is being employed by the capitalists 
of all countries, who have accumulated millions and thou- 
sands of millions from war contracts, in an attempt to 
overthrow the Soviet government. 

But all in vain. The Soviet government stands firm, 
overcoming all these unparalleled and incredible difficul- 
ties, despite the measureless suffering caused by war, 
blockade, famine, shortages, break-down of the transport 
system and general economic dislocation. 



Soviet power in Russia has already won the support of 
the workers of the whole world. There is not a single country 
where the people do not talk of Bolshevism and Soviet 

The capitalists talk of it with hatred and rabid malice, 
slandering and vilifying it without end. But this malice 
gives them away, and the mass of workers are turning their 
backs on the old leaders and coming out in support of 
Soviet power. 

Despite the crushing, painful burden imposed by the 
enemy assault on Russia, Soviet power has triumphed 
throughout the world — triumphed in the sense that every- 
where the sympathy of the working people is already on 
our side. 

The victory of Soviet power throughout the world is 
assured. It is only a question of time. 

Why is Soviet power so firm and stable, despite the 
incredible ordeals, the terrible famine and the difficulties 
created by war and economic dislocation? 

Because it is the power of the working people themselves, 
of the millions of workers and peasants. 

The workers hold state power. The workers help the 
millions of labouring peasants. 

The Soviet government has overthrown the landowners 
and capitalists and is steadfastly defending the people 
against attempts to restore their rule. 

The Soviet government gives all the aid it is capable of 
to the labouring peasants, the poor and middle peasants, 
who make up the vast majority. 

The Soviet government holds a tight rein on the kulak, 
the village money-bag, the proprietor, the profiteer, on 
everyone who wants to get rich without having to work, 
everyone who battens on the misery and hunger of the people. 

The Soviet government is for the labouring people, 
against the profiteers, proprietors, capitalists and landowners. 

That is the source of the strength, stability and invin- 
cibility of Soviet power throughout the world. 

Tens and hundreds of millions of workers and peasants 
all over the world are suffering oppression, humiliation 
and plunder at the hands of landowners and capitalists. The 
old state apparatus, whether of a monarchy or a "democratic" 



(pseudo-democratic) republic, helps the exploiters and 
oppresses the workers. 

Tens and hundreds of millions of workers and peasants 
in all lands know this; they see it and experience it in their 
everyday life. 

The imperialist war lasted over four years, tens of mil- 
lions were killed and crippled. What for? For the division 
of the capitalists' spoils, for markets, profits, colonies 
and the power of the banks. 

The Anglo-French imperialist predators defeated the 
German imperialist predators. With every passing day 
they are exposing themselves for what they are — robbers 
and plunderers, oppressors of the working folk who batten 
on the misery of the people and tyrannise weak nations. 

That is why support for Soviet power is growing among 
the workers and peasants of the world. 

The severe and arduous struggle against capital was 
victoriously begun in Russia. It is now spreading in all 

It will end in the victory of the World Soviet Republic. 

Bednota No. 478, 
November 7, 1919 
Signed: Lenin 

Published according to 
the Bednota text 



NOVEMBER 7, 1919 

Comrades, two years ago, when the imperialist war was 
still raging, it seemed to all the supporters of the bour- 
geoisie in Russia, to the masses of the people and, I dare 
say, to most of the workers in other countries, that the 
uprising of the Russian proletariat and their conquest 
of political power was a bold but hopeless enterprise. At 
that time world imperialism appeared such a tremendous and 
invincible force that it seemed stupid of the workers of a 
backward country to attempt to revolt against it. Now, 
however, as we glance back over the past two years, we 
see that even our opponents are increasingly admitting 
that we were right. We see that imperialism, which seemed 
such an insuperable colossus, has proved before the whole 
world to be a colossus with feet of clay, and the two years 
through which we have passed and during which we have 
had to fight, mark with ever-growing clarity the victory 
not only of the Russian, but also of the international 

Comrades, during the first year of the existence of Soviet 
power we had to experience the might of German imperial- 
ism, to suffer the coercive and predatory peace that was 
forced on us; we were alone in issuing our call to revolution, 
and met with no support or response. The first year of our 



rule was also the first year of our struggle against imperial- 
ism, and we soon became convinced that the struggle of 
the different parts of this gigantic international imperial- 
ism was nothing but its death throes, and that both German 
imperialism and the imperialism of the Anglo-French 
bourgeoisie had an interest in this struggle. During that 
year we established that this struggle only strengthened, 
only increased and restored our forces and enabled us to 
direct them against imperialism as a whole. We created 
such a situation during the first year but, during the whole 
of the second year, we stood face to face with our enemy. 
There were pessimists who even last year severely attacked 
us; even last year they said that Britain, France and Amer- 
ica were such a huge, such a colossal force that they would 
crush our country. The year has passed, and as you see, 
while the first year may be called that of the might of inter- 
national imperialism, the second year will be called that 
of the onslaught of Anglo-American imperialism and of 
victory over that onslaught, of victory over Kolchak and 
Yudenich, and the beginning of victory over Denikin. 

Now we know perfectly well that all the military forces 
sent against us have been directed from a definite source. 
We know that the imperialists have given them all the 
military supplies, all the arms needed; we know that they 
have handed over their global navies in part to our enemies, 
and now are doing all they can to help and build up forces 
both in the South of Russia and in Archangel. But we know 
perfectly well that all these seemingly huge and invincible 
forces of international imperialism are unreliable, and 
hold no terrors for us, that at the core they are rotten, that 
they are making us stronger and stronger, and that this 
added strength will enable us to win victory on the external 
front and to make it a thorough-going one. I shall not dwell 
on this point as it will be dealt with by Comrade Trotsky. 

It seems to me that we must now try to draw general 
lessons from the two years of heroic constructive work. 

What, in my opinion, is the most important conclusion 
to be drawn from the two years of developing the Soviet 
Republic, what, in my view, is most important for us, is 
the lesson we have had in organising working-class power. 
It seems to me that in this we must not confine ourselves 



to the various concrete facts that concern the work of some 
commissariat and which most of you know of from your 
own experience. It seems to me that, in glancing back over 
what we have gone through, we must draw a general lesson 
from this work of construction, a lesson that we shall learn 
and carry further afield among working people. The lesson 
is that only workers' participation in the general admin- 
istration of the state has enabled us to hold out amidst 
such incredible difficulties, and that only by following 
this path shall we achieve complete victory. Another lesson 
to be drawn is that we must maintain the right attitude 
to the peasantry, to the many millions of peasants, for 
that attitude alone has made it possible for us to carry on 
successfully amid all our difficulties, and it alone shows 
us the path along which we are achieving one success after 

If you recall the past, if you recall the first steps of 
Soviet power, if you recall the entire work of developing 
all branches of the administration of the Republic, not 
excluding the military branch, you will see that the estab- 
lishment of working-class rule two years ago, in October, 
was only the beginning. Actually, at that time, the 
machinery of state power was not yet in our hands, and if 
you glance back over the two years that have since elapsed 
you will agree with me that in each sphere — military, 
political and economic — we have had to win every position 
inch by inch, in order to establish real machinery of state 
power, sweeping aside those who before us had been at the 
head of the industrial workers and working people in 

It is particularly important for us to understand the 
development that has taken place in this period, because 
there is development along the same lines all over the 
world. The industrial workers and other working people 
do not take their first steps with their real leaders; the 
proletariat themselves are now taking over the administra- 
tion of state, political power, and at their head we see 
everywhere leaders who are destroying the old prejudices 
of petty-bourgeois democracy, old prejudices the vehicles of 
which in our country are the Mensheviks and Socialist-Rev- 
olutionaries, and throughout Europe are the representatives 



of bourgeois governments. Previously this was an 
exception, now it has become the general rule. Two years 
ago, in October, the bourgeois government in Russia — 
their alliance or coalition with the Mensheviks and Socialist- 
Revolutionaries — was smashed, but we know how, in carry- 
ing on our work, we had subsequently to reorganise every 
branch of administration in such a way that genuine 
representatives, revolutionary workers, the vanguard of the 
proletariat, really took in hand the organisation of state 
power. That was in October, two years ago, when the work 
went on at terrific pressure, nevertheless we know, and we 
must say it, that this work is not finished even now. We know 
how those who formerly ran the state resisted us, how 
officials at first tried refusing to administrate, but this 
gross sabotage was stopped in a few weeks by the prole- 
tarian government. It showed that not the slightest impres- 
sion could be made on it by such refusal, and after we had 
put an end to this gross sabotage this same enemy tried 
other methods. 

Time and again it has happened that supporters of the 
bourgeoisie have been found even at the head of workers' 
organisations; we had to get down to the business of making 
the fullest use of the workers' strength. Take, for example, 
what we experienced when the railway administration, the 
railway proletariat were headed by people who led them 
along the bourgeois, and not the proletarian path. 46 We 
know that in all spheres wherever we could get rid of the 
bourgeoisie, we did so, but at what a price! In each sphere 
we gained ground inch by inch, and promoted the best of 
our workers, those who had gone through the hard school 
of organising the administration. Viewed from the side, 
all this is, perhaps, not very difficult, but actually, if you 
go into the matter, you will see with what difficulty the 
workers, who had been through all the stages of the struggle, 
asserted their rights, how they set things going — from 
workers' control to workers' management of industry, or 
how on the railways, beginning from the notorious Vikzhel,* 
they got an efficient organisation working; you will see 

* Vikzhel — All-Russia Executive Committee of the Railwaymen's 
Trade Union.— Ed. 



how representatives of the working class are gradually mak- 
ing their way into all our organisations and strengthening 
them by their activity. Take the co-operatives, for example, 
where we see huge numbers of workers' representatives. 
We know that formerly they consisted almost entirely 
of non-working-class people. Furthermore, in the old 
co-operatives, there were people steeped in the views and 
interests of the old bourgeois society. In this respect the 
workers had to wage a long struggle before they could take 
power into their own hands and subordinate the co-opera- 
tives to their interests, before they could carry on more 
fruitful work. 

But our most important work has been the reorganisa- 
tion of the old machinery of state, and although this has 
been a difficult job, over the last two years we have seen 
the results of the efforts of the working class and we can 
say that in this sphere we have thousands of working-class 
representatives who have been all through the fire of the 
struggle, forcing out the representatives of bourgeois rule 
step by step. We see workers not only in state bodies; we 
see them in the food supply services, in the sphere that was 
controlled almost exclusively by representatives of the 
old bourgeois government, of the old bourgeois state. The 
workers have created a food supply apparatus, and although 
a year ago we could not yet fully cope with the work, 
although a year ago workers made up only 30 per cent of it, 
we now have as many as 80 per cent workers in the food 
supply organisations. These simple and striking figures 
express the step taken by our country, and for us the 
important thing is that we have achieved great results in 
organising proletarian power after the political revolution. 

Furthermore, the workers have done and are continuing 
to do the important job of producing proletarian leaders. 
Tens and hundreds of thousands of valiant workers are 
emerging from our midst and are going into battle against 
the whiteguard generals. Step by step we are gaining power 
from our enemy; formerly workers were not very skilful in 
this field, but we are now gradually winning area after area 
from our enemy, and there are no difficulties that can stop 
the proletariat. The proletariat is gaining in every sphere, 
gradually, one after another, despite all difficulties, and 



is attracting representatives of the proletarian masses so 
that in every branch of administration, in every little 
unit, from top to bottom, representatives of the proletariat 
themselves go through the school of administration, and 
then train tens and hundreds of thousands of people capable 
of independently conducting all the affairs of state 
administration, of building the state by their own efforts. 

Comrades ! Lately we have witnessed a particularly bril- 
liant example of success in our work. We know how 
widespread subbotniks have become among class-conscious 
workers. We know those representatives of communism who 
most of all have suffered the torments of famine and bitter 
cold, but whose contribution in the rear is no smaller than 
that of the Red Army at the front; we know how, at the 
critical moment when the enemy was advancing on 
Petrograd, and Denikin took Orel, when the bourgeoisie 
were in high spirits and resorted to their last and favourite 
weapon, the spreading of panic, we announced a Party Week. 
At that moment the worker Communists went to the indus- 
trial workers and other working people, to those who most 
of all had endured the burden of the imperialist war and 
were starving and freezing, to those on whom the bourgeois 
panic-mongers counted most of all, to those who bore most 
of the burden on their backs; it was to them that we addressed 
ourselves during the Party Week and said: "You are 
scared by the burdens of working-class rule, by the threats 
of the imperialists and capitalists; you see our work and 
our difficulties; we appeal to you, and we open wide the 
doors of our Party only to you, only to the representatives 
of the working people. At this difficult moment we count 
on you and call you into our ranks there to undertake the 
whole burden of building the state." You know that it was a 
terribly difficult moment, both materially and because of 
the enemy's successes in foreign policy and in the military 
sphere. And you know what unparalleled, unexpected and 
unbelievable success marked the end of this Party Week 
in Moscow alone, where we got over 14 thousand new Party 
members. There you have the result of the Party Week 
that is totally transforming, that is remaking the working 
class, and by the experience of work is turning those who 
were the passive, inert instruments of the bourgeois 



government, the exploiters, and the bourgeois state into real 
creators of the future communist society. We know that we 
have a reserve of tens and hundreds of thousands of working- 
class and peasant youths, those who saw and know to the 
full the old oppression of landowner and bourgeois society, 
who have seen the unparalleled difficulties of our construc- 
tive work, who saw what heroes the first contingent of 
Party functionaries proved to be in 1917 and 1918, who 
have been coming to us in bigger numbers and whose 
devotion is the greater the severer our difficulties. These 
reserves give us confidence that in these two years we have 
achieved a firm and sound cohesion and now possess 
a source from which we shall for a long time be able to draw 
still more extensively, and so ensure that the working 
people themselves undertake to develop the state. In this 
respect we have had such experience during these two years 
in applying working-class administration in all spheres, 
that we can say boldly and without any exaggeration that 
now all that remains is to continue what has been begun, 
and things will proceed as they have done these two years, 
but at an ever faster pace. 

In another sphere, that of the relation of the working 
class to the peasantry, we have had far greater difficulties. 
Two years ago, in 1917, when power passed to the Soviets, 
the relation was still totally unclear. The peasantry as a 
whole had already turned against the landowners, and 
supported the working class, because it saw they were ful- 
filling the wishes of the peasant masses, that they were real 
working-class fighters, and not those who, in league with 
the landowners, had betrayed the peasantry. But we know 
perfectly well that a struggle was only just beginning within 
the peasantry. In the first year the urban proletariat still 
had no firm foothold in the countryside. This is to be seen 
with particular clarity in those border regions where the 
rule of the whiteguards was for a time consolidated. We 
saw it last summer, in 1918, when they won easy victories 
in the Urals. We saw that proletarian rule was not yet 
established in the countryside itself, and that it was not 
enough to introduce it from outside. What was needed was 
that the peasantry should, by their own experience, by 
their own organisational work, arrive at the same conclusions, 



and although this work is immeasurably more difficult, 
slower and harder, it is incomparably more fruitful so far 
as results go. This is our main achievement of the second 
year of Soviet rule. 

I shall not speak of the military significance of our 
victory over Kolchak, but I shall say that had the peasantry 
not undergone the experience of comparing the rule of 
the bourgeois dictators with that of the Bolsheviks, that 
victory would not have been won. Yet the dictators began 
with a coalition, with a Constituent Assembly; in that 
government apparatus there participated the same Socialist- 
Revolutionaries and Mensheviks whom we meet at every 
step in our work as the people of yesterday, as the people 
who built co-operatives, trade unions, teachers' organisa- 
tions and a host of other organisations which we have to 
reorganise. Kolchak began in alliance with them, with 
individuals for whom the Kerensky experiment was not 
enough — they undertook a second. They did so in order to 
get the border regions, those farthest from the centre, to 
rise against the Bolsheviks. We could not give the peas- 
ants in Siberia what the revolution gave them in the rest 
of Russia. In Siberia the peasants did not get landed estates, 
because there were none of them there, and that was why 
it was easier for them to put faith in the whiteguards. All 
the forces of the Entente and the imperialist army which 
had suffered least of all in the war, i.e., the Japanese army, 
were drawn into the struggle. We know that hundreds of 
millions of rubles were expended on assisting Kolchak, 
that all means were employed to support him. Was there 
anything he lacked on his side? He had everything. Every- 
thing possessed by the strongest powers in the world, as 
well as a peasantry and a huge territory almost devoid of 
an industrial proletariat. What caused the destruction of 
all this? The fact that the experience of the workers, sol- 
diers and peasants showed once again that the Bolsheviks 
were right in their forecasts, in their appraisal of the rela- 
tion of social forces, when they said that the alliance of 
the workers and peasants is effected with difficulty, but 
that at any rate it is the only invincible alliance against 
the capitalists. 



This is science, comrades, if one may use that term here. 
This experience is one of the greatest difficulty, one that 
takes account of everything and consolidates everything — 
it is the experience of communism; we can only establish 
communism if the peasantry arrive consciously at a definite 
conclusion. We can do this only when we enter into alliance 
with the peasants. We were able to convince ourselves of 
this by the Kolchak experience. The Kolchak revolt was an 
experience of great bloodshed, but that was no fault of ours. 

You are now perfectly familiar with the second trouble 
that afflicts us; you know that famine and cold have affected 
our country more severely than any other. You know that 
the blame for this is thrown on communism, but you also 
know perfectly well that communism has nothing to do 
with it. In all countries we see increasing and growing 
famine and cold and soon everybody will be convinced that 
this situation in Russia is not the consequence of commu- 
nism, but of four years of world-wide war. It is the war that 
has caused all the horror we are enduring, that has caused 
this famine and cold. But we believe that we shall soon 
emerge from this state of affairs. The whole problem is 
only that the workers must work, but work for themselves 
and not for those who for four years have been engaged in 
throat-cutting. As for the fight against famine and cold, 
it is going on everywhere. The most powerful states are 
now subject to this affliction. 

We have had to resort to state requisitioning to collect 
grain from the many millions of our peasantry, and have 
done so not the way it was done by the capitalists, who 
operated along with the profiteers. In settling this problem 
we went with the workers, we went against the profiteers. 
We used the method of persuasion, we went to the peas- 
antry and told them that all we were doing was in support 
of them and the workers. The peasant who has a grain sur- 
plus and delivers it to us at a fixed price, is our ally. The 
one, however, who does not do so is our enemy, is a criminal, 
is an exploiter and profiteer, and we can have nothing in 
common with him. We went with a message to the peasant, 
and this message has increasingly drawn the peasantry to 
our side. We have got quite definite results in this field. 
Between August and October of last year we procured 37 



million poods of grain, but this year we have procured 
45 million poods, and that without undertaking a special 
and careful check. An improvement, as you see, is taking 
place, a slow but undoubted one. And even if we reckon with 
the gaps made by Denikin's occupation of our fertile region, 
there are nevertheless signs of our being able to carry 
through our plan of procurement and plan of distribution at 
state prices. In this respect, too, our machinery has in a 
sense become established, and we are now taking the 
socialist path. 

Now we are faced with the problem of a fuel crisis. The 
grain problem is no longer so acute; the position is that we 
have grain, but have no fuel. We have been deprived of 
our coal-field by Denikin. The loss of this coal-field has 
brought us unprecedented difficulties, and in this case 
we are doing just what we did in relation to grain. As we 
did previously we are again addressing ourselves to the 
workers. In the same way as we reorganised our food supply 
machinery, which, after being strengthened and set going, 
fulfilled quite a definite job that has yielded splendid 
results, so we are now improving our fuel supply machinery 
day by day. We are telling the workers from what direction 
this or that danger is advancing on us, in which direction 
and from what region we must send new forces, and we are 
confident that, just as we conquered our grain difficulties 
last year, so now we shall conquer our fuel difficulties. 

Allow me for the moment to confine myself to this sum- 
mary of our work. In conclusion, I shall take the liberty 
of saying just a few words about how our international 
situation is improving. We have examined the path we 
have followed, and the results show that our path has been 
the right and proper one. When we took power in 1917, we 
were alone. In 1917 it was said in all countries that Bolshe- 
vism could not take root. Now there is a powerful communist 
movement in those same countries. In the second year 
after we conquered power, six months after we founded the 
Third International, the Communist International, this 
International has in fact become the main force in the 
labour movement of all countries. In this respect the expe- 
rience we have undergone has yielded the most splendid, 
unparalleled and rapid results, True, the movement to 



freedom in Europe is not proceeding in the same way as 
in our country. But if you recall our two years of struggle, 
you will see that in the Ukraine too, and even in some parts 
of Russia proper, where the population was of a specific com- 
position — for instance, in the Cossack and Siberian areas, 
or in the Urals — the movement to victory was not so rapid 
and did not follow the same road as in Petrograd and 
in Moscow, in the heart of Russia. Of course, we cannot be 
surprised at the slower pace of the movement in Europe, 
where pressure of jingoism and imperialism that has to be 
surmounted is greater; nonetheless the movement is proceed- 
ing unswervingly, along the very road being indicated by 
the Bolsheviks. Everywhere we are witnessing this forward 
movement. The mouthpieces of the Mensheviks and 
Socialist-Revolutionaries are yielding place everywhere to 
representatives of the Third International. The old leaders 
are falling, and the communist movement has risen every- 
where, and that is why, after two years of Soviet rule, 
we can say, supported by the facts, we have every right 
to say, that not only on the scale of the Russian state, but 
also on an international scale we now have the following 
of all the politically conscious, all that are revolutionary 
among the masses, in the revolutionary world. And we can 
say that after what we have endured no difficulties hold 
any terrors for us, that we shall withstand all these difficul- 
ties, and then conquer them all. (Stormy applause.) 

Pravda No. 251, 
November 9, 1919 

Published according to 
the verbatim report, 
verified with the Pravda text 



Comrades, permit me to address you not as Chairman 
of the Council of People's Commissars and the Council of 
Defence, but as a member of the Party. 

It is no exaggeration to say that the establishment of 
proper relations with the peoples of Turkestan is now of 
immense, epochal importance for the Russian Socialist 
Federative Soviet Republic. 

The attitude of the Soviet Workers' and Peasants' 
Republic to the weak and hitherto oppressed nations is of 
very practical significance for the whole of Asia and for all 
the colonies of the world, for thousands and millions of 

I earnestly urge you to devote the closest attention to 
this question, to exert every effort to set an effective example 
of comradely relations with the peoples of Turkestan, to 
demonstrate to them by your actions that we are sincere 
in our desire to wipe out all traces of Great-Russian impe- 
rialism and wage an implacable struggle against world 
imperialism, headed by British imperialism. You should 
show the greatest confidence in our Turkestan Commis- 
sion and adhere strictly to its directives, which have been 
framed precisely in this spirit by the All-Russia Central 
Executive Committee. 

I would very much appreciate a reply to this letter 
indicating your attitude. 

With communist greetings, 

V. Ulyanov (Lenin) 

Turkestansky Kommunist, Published according to 

Izvestia TsIK Sovetov the newspaper text 

Turkestanskoi Respubliki 
and Krasny Front (jubilee 
edition), November 7-10, 1919 




Comrades, to our Party, as the organised vanguard of 
the proletariat, has fallen the duty of uniting the working 
class in its struggle and of leading it in the fight for the 
victory of the workers' and peasants' Soviet power. We 
have carried on that fight triumphantly for two years and 
now know by what means we succeeded in overcoming 
the incredible difficulties placed in our way by the 
impoverishment of the country that resulted from four 
years of imperialist war and the resistance of all exploiters, 
Russian and international. 

Comrades, the chief source of our strength is the class- 
consciousness and heroism of the workers, who had, and 
still have, the sympathies and support of the labouring 
peasants. Our victories were due to the direct appeal made 
by our Party and by the Soviet government to the working 
masses, with every new difficulty and problem pointed 
out as it arose; to our ability to explain to the masses why 
it was necessary to devote all energies first to one, then to 
another aspect of Soviet work at a given moment; to our 
ability to arouse the energy, heroism and enthusiasm of 
the masses and to concentrate every ounce of revolutionary 
effort on the most important task of the hour. 

Comrades, at this juncture the most important task of 
the hour is the struggle to overcome the fuel crisis. We 
are finishing off Kolchak, we have vanquished Yudenich, 
we have begun a successful offensive against Denikin. We 
have considerably improved matters as regards the procure- 
ment and storage of grain. But the fuel crisis threatens 



to disrupt all Soviet work: factory workers and office 
employees are abandoning their jobs to escape cold and 
hunger, trains carrying grain are brought to a standstill, and 
veritable disaster is impending precisely on account of 
the fuel shortage. 

The fuel problem has become the central problem. The 
fuel crisis must be overcome at all costs, otherwise it will 
be impossible to solve the food problem, or the war 
problem, or the general economic problem. 

And the fuel crisis can be overcome. For although we 
have lost the coal of the Donets Basin, and although we are 
not in a position rapidly to increase the output of coal in 
the Urals and Siberia, we still have plenty of forests and 
we can cut and deliver a sufficient quantity of wood. 

The fuel crisis can be overcome. The thing now is to 
concentrate our main forces against what is (at present) 
our main enemy: the fuel shortage. We must arouse enthu- 
siasm in the working masses and achieve a revolutionary 
harnessing of energies for the swiftest possible procurement 
and delivery of the largest possible quantity of fuel of 
every kind — coal, shale, peat, etc., and in the first place 
wood, wood and wood. 

The Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party 
is confident that all Party organisations and all Party 
members, who in the past two years have demonstrated 
their capacity and ability to solve problems no less and 
even more difficult in a revolutionary way, will solve this 
problem too. 

The Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party 
proposes in particular the following measures to all Party 

1. All Party organisations must henceforth make the 
fuel problem and measures to combat the fuel crisis a per- 
manent item on the agenda of Party meetings and espe- 
cially meetings of Party committees. What more can be 
done, what must be done to combat the fuel crisis, how can 
the work be intensified, how can it be made more produc- 
tive? — let these questions now occupy the attention of 
all Party organisations. 

2. The same applies to all gubernia, city, uyezd and 
volost executive committees — in a word, to all leading 



Soviet bodies. Party people must assume the initiative in 
strengthening, co-ordinating and intensifying the work on 
a country-wide scale. 

3. The widest possible propaganda must be carried on 
everywhere, especially in the countryside, to explain what 
the fuel problem means to the Soviet state. In particular, 
local, parochial, narrow egoistical interests in the matter 
of fuel supplies must be combated. It must be explained 
that without devoted effort to meet the general need of 
the state it will be impossible to save the Soviet Republic, 
to uphold the power of the peasants and workers. 

4. The most careful supervision must be exercised over 
the way the assignments of the Party and the instructions, 
demands and commissions of the Soviet government are 
carried out. New members of the Party who joined during 
the last Party Week should all be enlisted in the work 
of checking up on the way everyone is performing his 

5. Labour conscription for the whole population must 
be carried out, or certain age categories must be mobilised 
as quickly as possible and in the most imperative fashion 
for the work of procuring and carting coal and shale or 
cutting wood and carting it to the railway station. Fix 
labour quotas and see that they are carried out at all costs. 
Punish with ruthless severity those who despite repeated 
insistence, demands and orders are found to have shirked 
the work. Any lenience or weakness will be a crime 
against the revolution. 

We have improved discipline in the army. We must also 
improve labour discipline. 

6. Subbotniks must be arranged more frequently, ener- 
getically and systematically, and must be better organised, 
primarily for fuel work. Party members must set an example 
to all in labour discipline and energy. Decisions of the 
Council of People's Commissars, of the Council of Defence 
and of other central and also local Soviet bodies on the 
fuel question must be carried out conscientiously and 

7. Local fuel bodies must be reinforced with the best of 
the Party workers. For this purpose the distribution of 
forces should be revised and appropriate changes made. 



8. Comrades sent from the centre must be given the 
utmost assistance and the largest possible number of young 
people must be trained — and practically trained at that — 
in organising, arranging and maintaining fuel work. The 
local press must devote more attention to this work and 
must take pains to bring to public attention examples of 
really fine work and wage an implacable campaign against 
backwardness, lack of zeal or lack of ability displayed by 
any particular district, department or institution. Our 
press must become an instrument for bringing the backward 
into line and for inculcating industry, labour discipline 
and organisation. 

9. The chief task of the food bodies must be to supply 
food and fodder for those engaged on fuel supply work. 
They must be given every assistance, their work must be 
intensified, and a check kept on the way it is carried out. 

10. Indefatigable efforts must be made to ensure that in 
every fuel body (as in every Soviet institution generally) 
everyone is held personally responsible for a definite, strictly 
and precisely defined job or part of a job. Committee dis- 
cussion must be reduced to an absolute minimum and never 
be allowed to interfere with swiftness and firmness of decision 
or minimise the responsibility of each and every worker. 

11. The clerical work connected with fuel matters must 
be particularly prompt and accurate. The slightest tendency 
towards red tape must be punished ruthlessly. Reporting 
to the centre must be put on exemplary lines. 

12. All fuel work in general must be organised in mili- 
tary fashion, with the energy, speed and strict dis- 
cipline that is demanded in war. Without that we shall never 
overcome the fuel shortage. Without it we shall not escape 
from the crisis. 

The Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party 
is confident that all comrades will bend every effort to 
carry out these instructions energetically and faithfully. 
The fuel shortage must be fought and overcome! 

Central Committee, 
Russian Communist Party 

Pravda No. 254, 
November 13, 1919 

Published according to 
the Pravda text, 
verified with the manuscript 


NOVEMBER 18, 1919 

Comrades, unfortunately I have not been able to take 
part in the conference you have arranged, that is, in this 
conference on work in the countryside. Hence I shall have 
to limit myself to some general, basic considerations, and 
I am certain that you will be able gradually to apply these 
general considerations and fundamental principles of our 
policy to the various tasks and practical questions that 
come up before you. 

The question of our work in the countryside is now, 
strictly speaking, the basic question of socialist construc- 
tion in general, for insofar as the work among the prole- 
tariat and the question of uniting its forces are concerned, 
we can safely say that during the two years of Soviet power 
communist policy has not only taken definite shape but 
has unquestionably achieved lasting results. At first we 
had to fight a lack of understanding of the common interests 
among the workers, to fight various manifestations of syn- 
dicalism when the workers of some factories or some 
branches of industry tended to place their own interests, the 
interests of their factory or industry, above the interests 
of society. We had to fight a lack of discipline in the new 
organisation of labour, and still have to. I believe you 
all remember the major stages through which our policy 
has passed, when, as we promoted more and more workers 
to new posts, we gave them an opportunity to familiarise 



themselves with the tasks facing us, with the general 
mechanism of government. The organisation of the communist 
activity of the proletariat and the entire policy of the 
Communists have now acquired a final, lasting form; I am 
certain that we are on the right path and that progress along 
that path is fully ensured. 

As regards work in the countryside, the difficulties here 
are undoubtedly great, and we gave this question full 
consideration at the Eighth Congress of the Party 50 as one 
of the most important issues. In the countryside as well 
as in the towns we can rely only on the working and 
exploited people, only on those who, under capitalism, bore 
the whole burden of the landowner and capitalist yoke. 
Since the time when the conquest of power by the workers 
abolished private property and enabled the peasants to 
sweep away the power of the landowners at one blow, they 
divided up the land and, of course, gave effect to the fullest 
equality and thus considerably improved the exploitation 
of the soil, raising it to a level above the average. It goes 
without saying, however, that we could not achieve every- 
thing we would have wished in this respect, for it would take 
tremendous funds to provide each with sufficient seed, 
livestock and implements as long as the land is tilled by 
individual peasants. Moreover, even if our industry were 
to achieve extraordinary progress and increase the pro- 
duction of agricultural machines, even if we were to imagine 
all our wishes fulfilled, it would still be obvious that to 
supply each small peasant with sufficient means of pro- 
duction is impossible and most irrational since it would 
mean a terrible fragmentation of resources; only joint, 
artel, co-operative labour can help us to emerge from the 
blind alley in which the imperialist war has driven us. 

In the mass, the peasants, whose economic position 
under capitalism made them the most downtrodden, find 
it hardest of all to believe in the possibility of sharp changes 
and transitions. The peasant's experience of Kolchak, 
Yudenich, and Denikin compels him to show especial con- 
cern about his gains. All peasants know that the permanence 
of their gains is not finally guaranteed, that their enemy — 
the landowner — has not yet been destroyed, but has gone 
into hiding and is waiting for his friends, the international 


capitalist brigands, to come to his aid. And although 
international capital is becoming weaker day by day and our 
international position has greatly improved in the recent 
period, if we soberly weigh all the circumstances, we have 
to admit that international capital is still undoubtedly 
stronger than we are. It no longer can openly wage war 
against us — its wings have already been clipped. Indeed, 
all these gentlemen in the European bourgeois press have 
latterly begun to say, "You are likely to get bogged down 
in Russia, perhaps it is better to make peace with her." 
That is the way it always is — when the enemy is beaten, 
he begins talking peace. Time and again we have told 
these gentlemen, the imperialists of Europe, that we agree 
to make peace, but they continued to dream of enslaving 
Russia. Now they realise that their dreams are not fated to 
come true. 

The international millionaires and multimillionaires 
are still stronger than we are. And the peasants see per- 
fectly well that the attempts to seize power by Yudenich, 
Kolchak, and Denikin were financed by the imperialists 
of Europe and America. And the mass of the peasants know 
very well what the slightest weakness will cost them. The 
vivid memory of the rule of the landowners and capitalists 
makes the peasants reliable supporters of Soviet power. 
With each passing month Soviet power becomes more stable 
and there is growing political consciousness among the 
peasants who formerly laboured and were exploited and who 
themselves experienced the full weight of the landowner 
and capitalist yoke. 

Things, of course, are different with the kulaks, with 
those who hired workers, made money by usury, and 
enriched themselves at the expense of the labour of others. 
Most of these side with the capitalists and are opposed 
to the revolution that has taken place. We must clearly 
realise that we still have a long and stubborn fight to wage 
against this group of peasants. Between the peasants who 
shouldered the full load of the landowner and capitalist 
yoke and those who exploited others there is, however, a 
mass of middle peasants. Here lies our most difficult task. 
Socialists have always pointed out that the transition 
to socialism will raise this difficult problem — the attitude 



of the working class to the middle peasantry. Here it is to 
be expected that Communists, more than anyone else, will 
show a serious understanding and intelligent approach to 
this complicated and difficult task, and will not try to solve 
it at one stroke. 

The middle peasants are undoubtedly accustomed to 
farming each for himself. They are peasant proprietors, 
and although they have no land as yet, although private 
property in land has been abolished, they remain proprie- 
tors, primarily because this group of peasants remain in 
possession of food products. The middle peasant produces 
more food than he needs for himself, and since he has sur- 
plus grain he becomes the exploiter of the hungry worker. 
Herein lies the main task and the main contradiction. The 
peasant as a working man, as a man who lives by his own 
labour, as one who has borne the yoke of capitalism, sides 
with the worker. But the peasant as a proprietor with a sur- 
plus of grain is accustomed to regarding it as his property 
which he can sell freely. Anyone who sells grain surpluses 
in a hunger-ridden country becomes a profiteer, an exploiter, 
because the starving man will give everything he has for 
bread. It is here that the biggest and hardest battle has to be 
fought, a battle which demands of all of us representatives 
of Soviet power, and especially the Communists working in 
the countryside, the greatest attention and most serious 
thought to the issue in hand and the way to approach it. 

We have always said that we do not seek to force social- 
ism on the middle peasant, and the Eighth Party Congress 
fully confirmed this. The election of Comrade Kalinin as 
Chairman of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee 
was prompted by the need to build the closest of bonds 
between Soviet power and the peasantry. Thanks to Comrade 
Kalinin our work in the countryside has gained considerable 
momentum. The peasant is now undoubtedly in a position 
to keep in closer contact with the Soviet government through 
Comrade Kalinin, who represents the supreme authority 
of the Soviet Republic. In this way we said in effect to 
the middle peasant: "There can be no question of forcibly 
imposing socialism on anyone." But we must make him under- 
stand this, we must know how to tell him this in a language 
the peasant understands best of all. Here we must rely only 


on the force of example, successfully organised socialised 
farming. To give an example of artel, co-operative labour 
we must first achieve success in organising such farming 
ourselves. In these past two years the movement to set up 
agricultural communes and co-operatives has acquired tre- 
mendous scope. Looking at things soberly, however, we must 
say that a great many of the comrades who tackled the 
organisation of communes started to farm without sufficient 
knowledge of the economic conditions of peasant life. Undue 
haste and wrong approach to the question led to a tremen- 
dous number of mistakes which have had to be rectified. 
Time and again the old exploiters, former landowners, 
wormed their way into state farms. They no longer dominate 
there, but they have not been eliminated. It is necessary 
either to squeeze them out or put them under the control 
of the proletariat. 

This is a task that confronts us in all spheres of life. You 
have heard of the series of brilliant victories won by the 
Red Army. There are tens of thousands of old colonels and 
officers of other ranks in that army and if we had not accept- 
ed them in our service and made them serve us, we could 
not have created an army, And despite the treachery of 
some military specialists, we have defeated Kolchak and 
Yudenich, and are winning on all fronts. The reason for 
this is the existence of communist cells in the Red Army; 
they conduct propaganda and agitation carrying a tremen- 
dous impact, and thanks to them the small number of old 
officers find themselves in such an environment, under such 
a tremendous pressure from the Communists, that the major- 
ity of them are unable to break out of the communist organ- 
isation and propaganda with which we have surrounded 

Communism cannot be built without knowledge, technique, 
and culture, and this knowledge is in possession of bour- 
geois specialists. Most of them do not sympathise with 
Soviet power, yet without them we cannot build communism. 
They must be surrounded with an atmosphere of comradeship, 
a spirit of communist work, and won over to the side of the 
workers' and peasants' government. 

Among the peasants there have been frequent manifes- 
tations of extreme distrust and resentment of state farms, 



even complete rejection of them; we do not want state farms, 
they say, for the old exploiters are to be found there. We 
have told them — if you are unable to organise farming along 
new lines yourselves, you have to employ the services of 
old specialists; otherwise there is no way out of poverty. 
We shall weed out old experts who violate the decisions of 
the Soviet government as ruthlessly as we do in the Red 
Army; the struggle goes on, and it is a struggle without 
mercy. But we shall force the majority of the experts to work 
as we want them to. 

This is a difficult, complex task, a task that cannot be 
solved at one blow. Here conscious working-class discipline 
and closer contact with the peasants are needed. The peasants 
must be shown that we are not blind to any of the abuses 
on the state farms, but at the same time we tell them that 
scientists and technicians must be enlisted in the service 
of socialised farming, for small-scale farming will not bring 
deliverance from want. And we shall do what we are doing in 
the Red Army — we may be beaten a hundred times, but the 
hundred-and-first we defeat all our enemies. But to do this, 
work in the countryside must proceed by joint efforts, 
smoothly, in the same strict, orderly way as it has 
proceeded in the Red Army and as it is proceeding in other 
fields of economy. We shall slowly and steadily prove to 
the peasants the superiority of socialised farming. 

This is the struggle we must wage on the state farms, 
this is where the difficulty of transition to socialism lies, 
and it is thus that Soviet power can be really and finally 
consolidated. When the majority of the middle peasants 
come to see that unless they ally themselves with the work- 
ers they are helping Kolchak and Yudenich, that in all the 
world only the capitalists remain with them — the capital- 
ists who hate Soviet Russia and for years to come will 
repeat their attempts to restore their power — even the most 
backward middle peasants will realise that either they must 
forge ahead in alliance with the revolutionary workers 
toward complete emancipation or, if they vacillate even 
slightly, the enemy, the old capitalist exploiter, will gain the 
upper hand. Victory over Denikin is not enough to destroy 
the capitalists once and for all. This is something we all 
must realise. We know full well that they will try time and 


again to throw the noose around Soviet Russia's neck. Hence 
the peasant has no choice; he must help the workers, for the 
slightest hesitation will bring victory to the landowners 
and capitalists. Our primary, basic task is to help the peas- 
ants understand this. The peasant who lives by his own 
labour is a loyal ally of Soviet power, and the worker regards 
such a peasant as his equal, the workers' government does 
everything it can for him, indeed there is no sacrifice the 
workers' and peasants' government is not ready to make 
to satisfy the needs of such a peasant. 

But the peasant who makes use of the surplus grain he 
possesses to exploit others is our enemy. To satisfy the 
basic needs of a hungry country is a duty to the state. 
Yet far from all peasants realise that freedom to trade in grain 
is a crime against the state. "I have raised this grain, it 
is my product, and I have a right to do business with it," 
the peasant reasons out of habit, as he used to. But we say 
this is a crime against the state. Freedom to trade in grain 
means enriching oneself by means of this grain, i.e., a 
return to the old way of life, to capitalism, and this we shall 
not allow, this we shall fight against at all costs. 

In the transition period we shall carry out state purchases 
of grain and requisition grain surpluses. We know that only 
in this way shall we be able to do away with want and hunger. 
The vast majority of the workers suffer hardship because 
of the incorrect distribution of grain; to distribute it prop- 
erly, the peasants must deliver their quotas to the state as 
assessed, exactly, conscientiously, and without fail. Here 
Soviet power can make no concessions. This is not a matter 
of the workers' government fighting the peasants, but an 
issue involving the very existence of socialism, the existence 
of Soviet power. Today we cannot give the peasants any 
goods, because there is a shortage of fuel and railway traf- 
fic is being held up. We must start with the peasants lending 
the workers grain at fixed prices, not at profiteering prices, 
so that the workers can revive production. Every peasant 
will agree to this if it is a question of an individual worker 
dying from starvation before his eyes. But when mil- 
lions of workers are in question, they do not understand 
this and the old habits of profiteering gain the upper 



Prolonged and persistent struggle against such habits, 
agitation and propaganda, explanatory work, checking up on 
what has been done — these are the components of our policy 
toward the peasantry. 

We must render every support to the working peasant, 
treat him as an equal, without the slightest attempt to 
impose anything on him by force — that is our first task. 
Our second task is to wage an unswerving struggle against 
profiteering, huckstering, ruination. 

When we began to build the Red Army, we had only 
separate, scattered groups of guerrillas to start with. Lack 
of discipline and unity resulted in many unnecessary sac- 
rifices, but we overcame these difficulties and built up a 
Red Army millions strong in place of the guerrilla detach- 
ments. If we were able to do this in the brief period of two 
years, and in a sphere as difficult and hazardous as the army, 
we are all the more certain that we can achieve similar 
results in all spheres of economic endeavour. 

I am certain that although this problem of the proper 
attitude of the workers to the peasantry and of the correct 
food policy is one of the most difficult, we shall solve it 
and win a victory in this field such as we have won at the 

Pravda No. 259, 
November 19, 1919 

Published according to 
the Pravda text 




NOVEMBER 22, 1919 

Comrades, I am very glad of the opportunity to greet 
this Congress of Communist comrades representing Moslem 
organisations of the East, and to say a few words about 
the situation now obtaining in Russia and throughout the 
world. The subject of my address is current affairs, and it 
seems to me that the most essential aspects of this question 
at present are the attitude of the peoples of the East to 
imperialism, and the revolutionary movement among those 
peoples. It is self-evident that this revolutionary move- 
ment of the peoples of the East can now develop effectively, 
can reach a successful issue, only in direct association with 
the revolutionary struggle of our Soviet Republic against 
international imperialism. Owing to a number of circum- 
stances, among them the backwardness of Russia and her vast 
area, and the fact that she constitutes a frontier between 
Europe and Asia, between the West and the East, we had to 
bear the whole brunt — and we regard that as a great honour — 
of being the pioneers of the world struggle against imperial- 
ism. Consequently, the whole course of development in the 
immediate future presages a still broader and more strenuous 
struggle against international imperialism, and will inevi- 
tably be linked with the struggle of the Soviet Republic 
against the forces of united imperialism — of Germany, 
France, Britain and the U.S.A. 



As regards the military aspect of the matter, you know 
how favourable our situation now is on all the fronts. I 
shall not dwell in detail on this question; I shall only say 
that the Civil War which was forced upon us by interna- 
tional imperialism has in two years inflicted incalculable hard- 
ship upon the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Repub- 
lic, and imposed upon the peasants and workers a burden 
so intolerable that it often seemed they would not be able 
to endure it. But at the same time, because of its brute vio- 
lence, because of the ruthlessly brutal onslaught of our so- 
called allies, turned wild beasts, who robbed us even before 
the socialist revolution, this war has performed a miracle 
and turned people weary of fighting and seemingly incapable 
of bearing another war into warriors who have not only with- 
stood the war for two years but are bringing it to a victorious 
end. The victories we are now gaining over Kolchak, Yude- 
nich and Denikin signify the advent of a new phase in the 
history of the struggle of world imperialism against the coun- 
tries and nations which have risen up to fight for their eman- 
cipation. In this respect, the two years of our Civil War 
have fully confirmed what has long been known to history — 
that the character of a war and its success depend chiefly 
upon the internal regime of the country that goes to war, 
that war is a reflection of the internal policy conducted by 
the given country before the war. All this is inevitably 
reflected in the prosecution of a war. 

Which class waged the war, and is continuing to wage 
it, is a very important question. Only due to our Civil 
War being waged by workers and peasants who have emanci- 
pated themselves, and to its being a continuation of the 
political struggle for the emancipation of the working people 
from the capitalists of their own country and of the whole 
world — only thanks to this were people to be found in such a 
backward country as Russia, worn out as she was by four 
years of imperialist war, who were strong-willed enough 
to carry on that war during two years of incredible and 
unparalleled hardship and difficulty. 

This was very strikingly illustrated in the history of 
the Civil War in the case of Kolchak. Kolchak was an enemy 
who had the assistance of all the world's strongest powers; 
he had a railway which was protected by some hundred 


thousand foreign troops, including the finest troops of the 
world imperialists, such as the Japanese, for example, who 
had been trained for the imperialist war, but took prac- 
tically no part in it and therefore suffered little; Kolchak 
had the backing of the Siberian peasants, who were the most 
prosperous and had never known serfdom, and therefore, 
naturally, were farthest of all from communism. It seemed 
that Kolchak was an invincible force, because his troops 
were the advance guard of international imperialism. To 
this day, Japanese and Czechoslovak troops and the troops 
of a number of other imperialist nations are operating in 
Siberia. Nevertheless, the more than a year's experience of 
Kolchak's rule over Siberia and her vast natural resources, 
which was at first supported by the socialist parties of the 
Second International, by the Mensheviks and the Socialist- 
Revolutionaries, who set up the Constituent Assembly Com- 
mittee front, and which therefore, under these conditions, 
from the standpoint of the man in the street and of the 
ordinary course of history, appeared to be firm and invincible — 
that experience actually revealed the following. The 
farther Kolchak advanced into the heart of Russia, the more 
he wore himself out, and in the end we have witnessed 
Soviet Russia's complete triumph over Kolchak. Here we 
undoubtedly have practical proof that the united forces of 
workers and peasants who have been emancipated from the 
capitalist yoke can perform real miracles. Here we have 
practical proof that when a revolutionary war really does 
attract and interest the working and oppressed people, 
when it makes them conscious that they are fighting the 
exploiters — such a revolutionary war engenders the strength 
and ability to perform miracles. 

I think that what the Red Army has accomplished, its 
struggle, and the history of its victory, will be of colossal, 
epochal significance for all the peoples of the East. It will 
show them that, weak as they may be, and invincible as 
may seem the power of the European oppressors, who in the 
struggle employ all the marvels of technology and of the 
military art — nevertheless, a revolutionary war waged by 
oppressed peoples, if it really succeeds in arousing the mil- 
lions of working and exploited people, harbours such poten- 
tialities, such miracles, that the emancipation of the peoples 



of the East is now quite practicable, from the standpoint not 
only of the prospects of the international revolution, but also 
of the direct military experience acquired in Asia, in Sibe- 
ria, the experience of the Soviet Republic, which has suffered 
the armed invasion of all the powerful imperialist countries. 

Furthermore, the experience of the Civil War in Russia 
has shown us and the Communists of all countries that, in 
the crucible of civil war, the development of revolutionary 
enthusiasm is accompanied by a powerful inner cohesion. 
War tests all the economic and organisational forces of 
a nation. In the final analysis, infinitely hard as the war 
has been for the workers and peasants, who are suffering 
famine and cold, it may be said on the basis of these two 
years' experience that we are winning and will continue 
to win, because we have a hinterland, and a strong one, 
because, despite famine and cold, the peasants and workers 
stand together, have grown strong, and answer every heavy 
blow with a greater cohesion of their forces and increased 
economic might. And it is this alone that has made possible 
the victories over Kolchak, Yudenich and their allies, the 
strongest powers in the world. The past two years have 
shown, on the one hand, that a revolutionary war can be 
developed, and, on the other, that the Soviet system is grow- 
ing stronger under the heavy blows of the foreign invasion, 
the aim of which is to destroy quickly the revolutionary 
centre, the republic of workers and peasants who have dared 
to declare war on international imperialism. But instead of 
destroying the workers and peasants of Russia, these heavy 
blows have served to harden them. 

That is the chief lesson, the chief content of the pres- 
ent period. We are on the eve of decisive victories over 
Denikin, the last enemy left on our soil. We feel strong and 
may reiterate a thousand times over that we are not mis- 
taken when we say that internally the Republic has become 
consolidated, and that we shall emerge from the war against 
Denikin very much stronger and better prepared for the task 
of erecting the socialist edifice — to which we have been able 
to devote all too little time and energy during the Civil 
War, but to which, now that we are setting foot on a free 
road, we shall undoubtedly be able to devote ourselves 


In Western Europe we see the decay of imperialism. 
You know that a year ago it seemed even to the German 
socialists, and to the vast majority of socialists — who 
did not understand the state of affairs — that what was in 
progress was a struggle of two world imperialist groups, 
and they believed that this struggle constituted the whole 
of history, that there was no force capable of producing 
anything else. It seemed to them that even socialists had no 
alternative but to join sides with one of the groups of 
powerful world predators. That is how it seemed at the close 
of October 1918. But we find that in the year that has since 
elapsed world history has witnessed unparalleled events, 
profound and far-reaching events, and these have opened 
the eyes of many socialists who during the imperialist war 
were patriots and justified their conduct on the plea that 
they were faced with an enemy; they justified their alliance 
with the British and French imperialists on the grounds 
that these were supposedly bringing delivery from German 
imperialism. See how many illusions were shattered by that 
war! We are witnessing the decay of German imperialism, 
a decay which has led not only to a republican, but even to 
a socialist revolution. You know that in Germany today the 
class struggle has become still more acute and that civil 
war is drawing nearer and nearer — a war of the German 
proletariat against the German imperialists, who have 
adopted republican colours, but who remain imperialists. 

Everyone knows that the social revolution is maturing 
in Western Europe by leaps and bounds, and that the same 
thing is happening in America and in Britain, the countries 
ostensibly representing culture and civilisation, victors 
over the Huns, the German imperialists. Yet when it came 
to the Treaty of Versailles, everyone saw that it was a hun- 
dred times more rapacious than the Treaty of Brest which 
the German robbers forced upon us, and that it was the 
heaviest blow the capitalists and imperialists of those 
luckless victor countries could possibly have struck at 
themselves. The Treaty of Versailles opened the eyes of 
the people of the victor nations, and showed that in the 
case of Britain and France, even though they are democratic 
states, we have before us not representatives of culture 
and civilisation, but countries ruled by imperialist predators. 



The internal struggle among these predators is developing 
so swiftly that we may rejoice in the knowledge that the 
Treaty of Versailles is only a seeming victory for the jubilant 
imperialists, and that in reality it signifies the bankruptcy 
of the entire imperialist world and the resolute abandonment 
by the working people of those socialists who during the war 
allied themselves with the representatives of decaying impe- 
rialism and defended one of the groups of belligerent preda- 
tors. The eyes of the working people have been opened because 
the Treaty of Versailles was a rapacious peace and showed that 
France and Britain had actually fought Germany in order 
to strengthen their rule over the colonies and to enhance 
their imperialist might. That internal struggle grows 
broader as time goes on. Today I saw a wireless message 
from London dated November 21, in which American jour- 
nalists — men who cannot be suspected of sympathising with 
revolutionaries — say that in France an unprecedented out- 
burst of hatred towards the Americans is to be observed, be- 
cause the Americans refuse to ratify the Treaty of Versailles. 

Britain and France are victors, but they are up to their 
ears in debt to America, who has decided that the French 
and the British may consider themselves victors as much as 
they like, but that she is going to skim the cream and exact 
usurious interest for her assistance during the war; and the 
guarantee of this is to be the American Navy which is now 
being built and is overtaking the British Navy in size. And 
the crudeness of the Americans' rapacious imperialism may 
be seen from the fact that American agents are buying white 
slaves, women and girls, and shipping them to America for 
the development of prostitution. Just think, free, cultured 
America supplying white slaves for brothels! Conflicts with 
American agents are occurring in Poland and Belgium. That 
is a tiny illustration of what is taking place on a vast scale in 
every little country which received assistance from the 
Entente. Take Poland, for instance. You find American 
agents and profiteers going there and buying up all the 
wealth of Poland, who boasts that she is now an independent 
power. Poland is being bought up by American agents. There 
is not a factory or branch of industry which is not in the 
pockets of the Americans. The Americans have become so 
brazen that they are beginning to enslave that "great and 


free victor", France, who was formerly a country of usurers, 
but is now deep in debt to America, because she has lost her 
economic strength, and has not enough grain or coal of her 
own and cannot develop her material resources on a large 
scale, while America insists that the tribute be paid unre- 
servedly and in full. It is thus becoming increasingly appar- 
ent that France, Britain and other powerful countries are 
economically bankrupt. In the French elections the Cleri- 
cals have gained the upper hand. The French people, who 
were deceived into devoting all their strength supposedly to 
the defence of freedom and democracy against Germany, have 
now been rewarded with an interminable debt, with the 
sneers of the rapacious American imperialists and, on top 
of it, with a Clerical majority consisting of representatives 
of the most savage reaction. 

The situation all over the world has become immeasurably 
more complicated. Our victory over Kolchak and Yudenich, 
those lackeys of international capital, is a big one; but 
far bigger, though not so evident, is the victory we are 
gaining on an international scale. That victory consists in 
the internal decay of imperialism, which is unable to send 
its troops against us. The Entente tried it, but to no 
purpose, because its troops become demoralised when they 
contact our troops and acquaint themselves with our Russian 
Soviet Constitution, translated into their languages. Despite 
the influence of the leaders of putrid socialism, our Consti- 
tution will always win the sympathy of the working people. 
The word "Soviet" is now understood by everybody, and the 
Soviet Constitution has been translated into all languages 
and is known to every worker. He knows that it is the con- 
stitution of working people, the political system of working 
people who are calling for victory over international capital, 
that it is a triumph we have achieved over the international 
imperialists. This victory of ours has had its repercussions 
in all imperialist countries, since we have deprived them of 
their own troops, won them over, deprived them of the 
possibility of using those troops against Soviet Russia. 

They tried to wage war with the troops of other coun- 
tries — Finland, Poland, and Latvia — but nothing came of it. 
British Minister Churchill, speaking in the House of Com- 
mons several weeks ago, boasted — and it was cabled all 



over the world — that a campaign of fourteen nations against 
Soviet Russia had been organised, and that this would result 
in victory over Russia by the New Year. And it is true that 
many nations participated in it — Finland, the Ukraine, 
Poland, Georgia, as well as the Czechoslovaks, the Japanese, 
the French, the British, and the Germans. But we know what 
came of it! We know that the Estonians left Yudenich's 
forces in the lurch; and now a fierce controversy is going 
on in the press because the Estonians do not want to help 
him, while Finland, much as her bourgeoisie wanted it, has 
not assisted Yudenich either. Thus the second attempt to 
attack us has likewise failed. The first stage was the dispatch 
by the Entente of its own troops, equipped according to all 
the rules of military technique, so that it seemed they would 
defeat the Soviet Republic. They have already withdrawn 
from the Caucasus, Archangel and the Crimea; they still 
remain in Murmansk, as the Czechoslovaks do in Siberia, 
but only as isolated groups. The first attempt of the Entente 
to defeat us with its own forces ended in victory for us. The 
second attempt consisted in launching against us nations which 
are our neighbours, and which are entirely dependent finan- 
cially on the Entente, and in trying to force them to crush 
us, as a nest of socialism. But that attempt, too, ended in 
failure: it turned out that not one of these little countries 
is capable of waging such a war. What is more, hatred of the 
Entente has taken firm root in every little country. If 
Finland did not set out to capture Petrograd when Yudenich 
had already captured Krasnoye Selo, it was because she 
hesitated, realising that she could live independently side by 
side with Soviet Russia, but could not live in peace with the 
Entente. All little nations have felt that. It is felt in Finland, 
Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland, where chauvinism is ramp- 
ant, but where there is hatred of the Entente, which is 
expanding its exploitation in those countries. And now, 
accurately assessing the course of developments, we may say 
without exaggeration that not only the first, but also the 
second stage of the international war against the Soviet 
Republic has failed. All that remains for us to do now is to 
defeat Denikin's forces, and they are already half-defeated. 

Such is the present Russian and international situation 
which I have summarised briefly in my address. Permit me 


in conclusion, to say something about the situation that is 
developing in respect of the nationalities of the East. You 
are representatives of the communist organisations and 
Communist Parties of various Eastern peoples. I must say 
that the Russian Bolsheviks have succeeded in forcing a 
breach in the old imperialism, in undertaking the exceeding- 
ly difficult, but also exceedingly noble task of blazing new 
paths of revolution, whereas you, the representatives of the 
working people of the East, have before you a task that is 
still greater and newer. It is becoming quite clear that 
the socialist revolution which is impending for the whole 
world will not be merely the victory of the proletariat of 
each country over its own bourgeoisie. That would be pos- 
sible if revolutions came easily and swiftly. We know 
that the imperialists will not allow this, that all countries 
are armed against their domestic Bolshevism and that 
their one thought is how to defeat Bolshevism at home. 
That is why in every country a civil war is brewing in which 
the old socialist compromisers are enlisted on the side of 
the bourgeoisie. Hence, the socialist revolution will not 
be solely, or chiefly, a struggle of the revolutionary pro- 
letarians in each country against their bourgeoisie — no, 
it will be a struggle of all the imperialist-oppressed colonies 
and countries, of all dependent countries, against interna- 
tional imperialism. Characterising the approach of the 
world social revolution in the Party Programme we adopted 
last March, we said that the civil war of the working people 
against the imperialists and exploiters in all the advanced 
countries is beginning to be combined with national wars 
against international imperialism. That is confirmed by 
the course of the revolution, and will be more and more 
confirmed as time goes on. It will be the same in the East. 

We know that in the East the masses will rise as inde- 
pendent participants, as builders of a new life, because 
hundreds of millions of the people belong to dependent, under- 
privileged nations, which until now have been objects of 
international imperialist policy, and have only existed as 
material to fertilise capitalist culture and civilisation. 
And when they talk of handing out mandates for colonies, we 
know very well that it means handing out mandates for 
spoliation and plunder — handing out to an insignificant 



section of the world's population the right to exploit the 
majority of the population of the globe. That majority, 
which up till then had been completely outside the orbit of 
historical progress, because it could not constitute an 
independent revolutionary force, ceased, as we know, to 
play such a passive role at the beginning of the twentieth 
century. We know that 1905 was followed by revolutions in 
Turkey, Persia and China, and that a revolutionary move- 
ment developed in India. The imperialist war likewise 
contributed to the growth of the revolutionary movement, 
because the European imperialists had to enlist whole colo- 
nial regiments in their struggle. The imperialist war aroused 
the East also and drew its peoples into international politics. 
Britain and France armed colonial peoples and helped them 
to familiarise themselves with military technique and up-to- 
date machines. That knowledge they will use against the 
imperialist gentry. The period of the awakening of the East 
in the contemporary revolution is being succeeded by a period 
in which all the Eastern peoples will participate in deciding 
the destiny of the whole world, so as not to be simply 
objects of the enrichment of others. The peoples of the East 
are becoming alive to the need for practical action, the need 
for every nation to take part in shaping the destiny of all 

That is why I think that in the history of the develop- 
ment of the world revolution — which, judging by its begin- 
ning, will continue for many years and will demand much 
effort — that in the revolutionary struggle, in the revolu- 
tionary movement you will be called upon to play a big 
part and to merge with our struggle against international 
imperialism. Your participation in the international rev- 
olution will confront you with a complicated and difficult 
task, the accomplishment of which will serve as the founda- 
tion for our common success, because here the majority of 
the people for the first time begin to act independently 
and will be an active factor in the fight to overthrow 
international imperialism. 

Most of the Eastern peoples are in a worse position 
than the most backward country in Europe — Russia. But in 
our struggle against feudal survivals and capitalism, we 
succeeded in uniting the peasants and workers of Russia; 


and it was because the peasants and workers united against 
capitalism and feudalism that our victory was so easy. Here 
contact with the peoples of the East is particularly 
important, because the majority of the Eastern peoples are 
typical representatives of the working people — not workers 
who have passed through the school of capitalist factories, 
but typical representatives of the working and exploited 
peasant masses who are victims of medieval oppression. 
The Russian revolution showed how the proletarians, after 
defeating capitalism and uniting with the vast diffuse mass 
of working peasants, rose up victoriously against medieval 
oppression. Our Soviet Republic must now muster all the 
awakening peoples of the East and, together with them, wage 
a struggle against international imperialism. 

In this respect you are confronted with a task which 
has not previously confronted the Communists of the world: 
relying upon the general theory and practice of communism, 
you must adapt yourselves to specific conditions such as do 
not exist in the European countries; you must be able to 
apply that theory and practice to conditions in which the 
bulk of the population are peasants, and in which the task 
is to wage a struggle against medieval survivals and not 
against capitalism. That is a difficult and specific task, 
but a very thankful one, because masses that have taken no 
part in the struggle up to now are being drawn into it, and also 
because the organisation of communist cells in the East 
gives you an opportunity to maintain the closest contact 
with the Third International. You must find specific forms 
for this alliance of the foremost proletarians of the world 
with the labouring and exploited masses of the East whose 
conditions are in many cases medieval. We have accomplished 
on a small scale in our country what you will do on a big 
scale and in big countries. And that latter task you will, 
I hope, perform with success. Thanks to the communist 
organisations in the East, of which you here are the repre- 
sentatives, you have contact with the advanced revolution- 
ary proletariat. Your task is to continue to ensure that com- 
munist propaganda is carried on in every country in a lan- 
guage the people understand. 

It is self-evident that final victory can be won only by 
the proletariat of all the advanced countries of the world, 



and we, the Russians, are beginning the work which the 
British, French or German proletariat will consolidate. 
But we see that they will not be victorious without the aid 
of the working people of all the oppressed colonial nations, 
first and foremost, of Eastern nations. We must realise 
that the transition to communism cannot be accomplished 
by the vanguard alone. The task is to arouse the working 
masses to revolutionary activity, to independent action and 
to organisation, regardless of the level they have reached; 
to translate the true communist doctrine, which was intended 
for the Communists of the more advanced countries, into the 
language of every people; to carry out those practical tasks 
which must be carried out immediately, and to join the pro- 
letarians of other countries in a common struggle. 

Such are the problems whose solution you will not find 
in any communist book, but will find in the common struggle 
begun by Russia. You will have to tackle that problem and 
solve it through your own independent experience. In that 
you will be assisted, on the one hand, by close alliance 
with the vanguard of the working people of other countries, 
and, on the other, by ability to find the right approach to 
the peoples of the East whom you here represent. You will 
have to base yourselves on the bourgeois nationalism which 
is awakening, and must awaken, among those peoples, and 
which has its historical justification. At the same time, 
you must find your way to the working and exploited masses 
of every country and tell them in a language they understand 
that their only hope of emancipation lies in the victory 
of the international revolution, and that the international 
proletariat is the only ally of all the hundreds of millions 
of the working and exploited peoples of the East. 

Such is the immense task which confronts you, and which, 
thanks to the era of revolution and the growth of the revo- 
lutionary movement — of that there can be no doubt — will, 
by the joint efforts of the communist organisations of the 
East, be successfully accomplished and crowned by complete 
victory over international imperialism. 

Bulletin of the C.C., 
R.C.P.(B.) No. 9, 
December 20, 1919 

Published according to 
the text of the Bulletin 
of the C.C., R.C.P.iB.) 



(1) The C.C., R.C.P.(B.), having discussed the ques- 
tion of relations with the working people of the Ukraine now 
being liberated from the temporary conquest of Denikin's 
bands, is pursuing persistently the principle of the self- 
determination of nations and deems it essential to again 
affirm that the R.C.P. holds consistently to the view that 
the independence of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic 
be recognised. 

(2) The R.C.P. will work to establish federal relations 
between the R.S.F.S.R. and the Ukrainian S.S.R., basing 
itself on the decisions of the All-Russia Central Executive 
Committee of June 1, 1919, and the Ukrainian Central 
Executive Committee of May 18, 19 19 53 (resolution 

(3) In view of the fact that Ukrainian culture (language, 
school, etc.) has been suppressed for centuries by Russian 
tsarism and the exploiting classes, the C.C., R.C.P. 
makes it incumbent upon all Party members to use every 
means to help remove all barriers in the way of the free 
development of the Ukrainian language and culture. Since the 
many centuries of oppression have given rise to nationalist 
tendencies among the backward sections of the population, 
R.C.P. members must exercise the greatest caution in respect 
of those tendencies and must oppose them with words of com- 
radely explanation concerning the identity of interests of the 
working people of the Ukraine and Russia. R.C.P. members 
on Ukrainian territory must put into practice the right of the 
working people to study in the Ukrainian language and to 
speak their native language in all Soviet institutions; they 



must in every way counteract attempts at Russification that 
push the Ukrainian language into the background and must 
convert that language into an instrument for the communist 
education of the working people. Steps must be taken imme- 
diately to ensure that in all Soviet institutions there are 
sufficient Ukrainian-speaking employees and that in future 
all employees are able to speak Ukrainian. 

(4) It is essential to ensure the closest contact between 
Soviet institutions and the native peasant population of 
the country, for which purpose it must be made the rule, 
even at the earliest stages, that when revolutionary commit- 
tees and Soviets are being established the labouring peasants 
must have a majority in them with the poor peasants exercis- 
ing a decisive influence. 

(5) Since the population of the Ukraine is predominantly 
peasant to an even greater extent than that of Russia, it 
is the task of the Soviet government in the Ukraine to win 
the confidence, not only of the poor peasants, but also of 
the broad sections of the middle peasantry whose real inter- 
ests link them very closely with Soviet power. In particu- 
lar, while retaining the food policy in principle (the state 
procurement of grain at fixed prices) the methods of its 
application must be changed. 

The immediate purpose of the food policy in the Ukraine 
must be the requisitioning of grain surpluses to the strictly 
limited extent necessary to supply the Ukrainian rural 
poor, the workers and the Red Army. When requisitioning 
surpluses, special attention must be paid to the interests of 
the middle peasants, who must be carefully distinguished 
from kulak elements. It is essential to expose to the Ukrain- 
ian peasantry the counter-revolutionary demagogy that tries 
to impress on them that the purpose of Soviet Russia is to 
channel grain and other food products from the Ukraine 
into Russia. 

It must be made incumbent on all agents of the central 
authorities, all Party officials, Party instructors, etc, 
to draw the poor and middle peasantry extensively into the 
work of government. 

For the same purpose (the establishment of the real 
power of the working people) measures must be immediately 
taken to prevent Soviet institutions from being flooded 



with Ukrainian urban petty bourgeoisie, who have no 
conception of the living conditions of the peasant masses 
and who frequently masquerade as Communists. 

A condition for the admission of such elements into 
the ranks of the Party and into Soviet institutions must be 
a preliminary practical verification of their competence 
and their loyalty to the interests of the working people, 
primarily at the front, in the ranks of the army. Everywhere 
and under all circumstances such elements must be placed 
under the strict class control of the proletariat. 

We know from experience that due to the unorganised 
state of the poor the large number of weapons in the hands 
of the Ukrainian rural population is inevitably being 
concentrated in the hands of the kulaks and counter- 
revolutionaries which actually leads to the domination of 
kulak bandits instead of the dictatorship of the working 
people; in view of this a primary task in organising Soviet 
Ukraine is to withdraw all weapons and concentrate them 
in the hands of the workers' and peasants' Red Army. 

(6) In the same way, the land policy must be effected with 
special attention paid to the farming of the poor and 
middle peasantry. 

The tasks of the land policy in the Ukraine are: 

(1) The complete abolition of the landed proprietorship 
re-established by Denikin and the transfer of the landed 
estates to peasants possessing little or no land. 

(2) State farms to be organised in strictly limited numbers 
and of limited size and in each case in conformity with the 
interests of the surrounding peasantry. 

(3) In organising peasants in communes, artels, etc., 
the Party policy must be strictly adhered to, which in this 
respect does not permit any coercion, leaving it to the peas- 
ants to decide freely for themselves and penalising all 
attempts to introduce the principle of coercion. 

* * 

2. Regarding it as beyond dispute for every Communist 
and for every politically-conscious worker that the closest 
alliance of all Soviet republics in their struggle against 



the menacing forces of world imperialism is essential, the 
R.C.P. maintains that the form of that alliance must be 
finally determined by the Ukrainian workers and labouring 
peasants themselves. 

Written November 1919 Published according to a type- 

written copy; the additional 
Clause 2, according to the 

OF THE R.C.P.(B.y 4 

DECEMBER 2-4, 1919 




Comrades, on behalf of the Central Committee of the 
Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) I declare the All- 
Russia Party Conference open. 

Comrades, according to Party Rules this type of confer- 
ence should be convened every three months, but the diffi- 
cult situation obtaining a few months ago in connection with 
the war forced us to bend our efforts and to reduce all bodies, 
both government and Party, to such an extent that we were 
unfortunately unable to carry out the Rules to the letter 
and the conference was postponed. 

Comrades, we are calling this conference in connection 
with the Congress of Soviets 55 at a time when we have suc- 
ceeded in achieving a tremendous improvement on the fronts, 
and when we are certain that we are on the eve of a gigantic 
change for the better in the international situation, in 
respect of the war and in respect of our internal develop- 
ment. The tasks that are unfolding before us have been 
frequently discussed at Party meetings and in the press, and 
we shall return to them when discussing definite individual 
items on the agenda. I shall, therefore, get right down to 
business and propose that you elect a presidium for the 

Let me have your proposals on that point, please. 

Izvestia No. 217, 
December 3, 1919 

Published according to 
the verbatim report, 
verified with the Izvestia text 





(Applause.) Comrades, the present report of the Central 
Committee should, from the formal point of view, give you 
mainly a summary of experience acquired during the period 
under review. I must say that such an approach — confining 
oneself to history or, at any rate, making a report that 
turns mainly on history — is too far removed from the spirit 
of the times in which we live and from the tasks that con- 
front us. In the present report, which I should also like 
to present to the Congress of Soviets, I intend to transfer 
the centre of gravity more to the lessons we are receiving, 
and which we must receive for our immediate practical 
activity, rather than to a description of what we have 
passed through. 

Although we may say, without any exaggeration, that in 
the period under review we have achieved tremendous suc- 
cesses, although our main difficulty is now behind us, we 
still have ahead of us difficulties that are without doubt very, 
very great. The Party must naturally concentrate its atten- 
tion wholly on the solution of those problems and may 
permit itself excursions into history only insofar as it is abso- 
lutely necessary for the solution of the problems facing us. 

It stands to reason that in the past period of Soviet 
power the war question has persistently been the one on which 
we have mostly fixed our attention. The Civil War has 
involved everyone and everything, of course, and it goes 
without saying that in our struggle for existence we had to 
divert the Party's best forces from other work and other 



activities and use them for war work. It was all we could 
do under war conditions. And no matter how much we 
have suffered from this withdrawal of creative forces from 
many spheres of government and Party activity, in the 
military sphere we have actually managed to effect a concen- 
tration of forces and achieve excellent results such as not 
only our enemies, not only the waverers, but probably even 
most of our own milieu would formerly have considered 
impossible. To hold out for two years against all our enemies 
who were supported directly and indirectly, first by 
German imperialism and then by the much more powerful 
Entente imperialism that has mastered the whole world — to 
hold out for two years in a country so badly ruined and so 
backward was such a problem that its solution was an 
undoubted "miracle". It seems to me, therefore, that we must 
look closely to see how this "miracle" was effected and what 
practical deductions are to be made from it, deductions which 
will enable us to say conclusively — and I think we may say 
conclusively — that great as the difficulties of internal 
organisation are we shall surmount them in the near future 
with a success equal to that with which we have solved the 
problems of military defence. 

World imperialism, that in reality brought about the 
Civil War in our country and is responsible for protracting 
it, has suffered defeat in these two years, and we must 
first of all ask ourselves the question, how could it have 
happened that we were able to achieve such tremendous suc- 
cess in the struggle against world imperialism that even 
today is undoubtedly many times stronger than we are? 
To find an answer to this question we must make a general 
review of the history of the Civil War in Russia, the history 
of Entente intervention. In this war we must distinguish 
two periods that differ radically according to the methods 
of Entente activity employed, two periods or two basic 
methods of conducting military operations against Russia. 

When the Entente had defeated Germany, at first it 
naturally relied on its own troops to crush the Soviet 
Republic in Russia. It stands to reason that if the Entente 
had used but a fraction of the gigantic armies that were 
released after the defeat of Germany, if it had been able to 
use even one-tenth of those armies in a proper manner against 



the Russian Soviet Republic we should not, of course, have 
been able to hold out. It is typical of the first period of 
the Civil War in Russia that the attempt of the Entente to 
smash the Soviet Republic using its own troops was a 
failure. The Entente had to withdraw the British troops 
operating on the Archangel Front. The landing of French 
forces in the South of Russia ended in a number of mutinies 
on the part of French sailors, and today, no matter how fran- 
tically the war-time censor may operate — there is no war 
but the former war-time censor, now the non-war-time cen- 
sor, continues to function in the supposedly free countries, 
Britain and France — and although copies of newspapers reach 
us on rare occasions we have very precise documentary evi- 
dence from Britain and France to the effect that information 
concerning, for instance, the mutiny of the sailors on French 
warships in the Black Sea has got into the French press, 
that the sentencing of several French sailors to penal servitude 
has become known in France, that the entire communist, 
the entire revolutionary working-class press in France and 
Britain refers to the facts; the name of Comrade Jeanne 
Labourbe, whom the French shot in Odessa for Bolshevik 
propaganda, has become a slogan for the French working- 
class socialist press, not only for the Communist wing, but 
even for a newspaper like I'Humanite 56 that in its basic 
principles is actually closer to the point of view of our Men- 
sheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, even for that newspa- 
per the name of Labourbe has become a slogan of struggle 
against French imperialism, for non-intervention in Rus- 
sian affairs. In the same way letters from British soldiers 
on the Archangel Front have been discussed in the British 
working-class press. We have very exact documentary evi- 
dence of this. It is quite obvious to us, therefore, that the 
tremendous change that formerly we always spoke of and 
which we so deeply hoped for has taken place; it has 
undoubtedly become a fact even though the process is an 
unusually slow one. 

This change had to be evoked by the very course of events. 
It is specifically those countries that always have been and 
still are regarded as the most democratic, civilised and cul- 
tured that conducted a war against Russia by the most bru- 
tal means, without even a shade of legality. The Bolsheviks 



are accused of violating democracy — this is the most popular 
argument against us among the Mensheviks and Socialist- 
Revolutionaries and in the entire European bourgeois 
press. But not one of those democratic states has taken or 
would dare to take the risk under the laws of its own country 
of declaring war on Soviet Russia. Parallel to this there is 
a protest, outwardly unnoticeable but nevertheless a pro- 
found protest on the part of the working-class press which 
asks where, in their constitution, in the constitution of 
France, Britain or America, are to be found laws permit- 
ting the conduct of war without having declared war and 
without having consulted parliament? The press of Britain, 
France and America has proposed to arraign their heads of 
state for a crime against the state, for declaring war with- 
out the permission of parliament. Such proposals have 
been made, although it is true that it was in papers that 
come out not more than once a week and are probably confis- 
cated not less than once a month and have a circulation of 
a few hundred or a few thousand copies. The leaders of the 
responsible government parties could afford to ignore such 
papers. But here we have to consider two different tenden- 
cies; the ruling classes throughout the world publish well- 
known capitalist dailies in millions of copies and these 
are packed with unprecedented lies and slander against the 
Bolsheviks. But down below, the working-class masses learn 
about the falsity of that whole campaign from the soldiers 
who have returned from Russia. That is why it became neces- 
sary for the Entente to withdraw its forces from Russia. 

When we said at the very outset that we place our stakes 
on the world revolution we were laughed at, and hundreds 
of times it was said and is still being said that it cannot 
be realised. During the past two years we have obtained 
precise material with which to verify it. If we speak of 
that stake as meaning hopes for a rapid, immediate insurrec- 
tion in Europe, then we know there has not been one. That 
stake, however, proved to be fundamentally a true one and 
from the very outset it removed all possibility of an armed 
intervention on the part of the Entente; after two years 
and especially since the defeat of Kolchak and since the 
withdrawal of British forces from Archangel and from the en- 
tire Northern Front this has become an undoubted historical 



fact. A very small part of the armies at the disposal 
of the Entente would have been enough to crush us. But 
we were able to defeat the enemy because the sympathy of 
the workers of the whole world made itself felt at the most 
difficult moment. And thus we succeeded in emerging honour- 
ably from this first period of the Entente invasion. I remem- 
ber some article, Radek's I think, said that the Entente 
troops' contact with the hot soil of Russia, the country 
that had started the fire of the socialist revolution, would 
also set those troops on fire. Events showed that this really 
did happen. It goes without saying, furthermore, that the 
processes that are taking place among the British and French 
soldiers and sailors who know the names of those who have 
been shot for Bolshevik agitation, no matter how weak these 
processes are, no matter how weak the communist organisa- 
tions are over there, are doing a gigantic job. The results are 
visible — they have compelled the Entente countries to with- 
draw their forces. This alone gave us our first major victory. 

The second method or second system employed by the Ente- 
nte in its struggle was to use small states against us. It was 
reported in a Swedish newspaper 57 at the end of last August 
that the British Secretary for War, Churchill, had said that 
fourteen states would attack Russia so that the fall of 
Petrograd and Moscow was certain in the near future, at any 
rate by the end of the year. I believe Churchill later denied 
having made this statement and said that the Bolsheviks 
had invented it. We have, however, exact information as to 
which Swedish newspaper published it. We therefore insist 
that the report came from European sources. Furthermore it 
is supported by facts. We know from the example of Finland 
and Estonia that the Entente has bent all its efforts to 
force them to attack Soviet Russia. I personally read one 
leading article in the British newspaper The Times on the 
question of Finland 58 at the time when Yudenich's troops 
were a few versts from Petrograd and the city was in tremen- 
dous danger. The article was seething with wrath and indig- 
nation, and was written in an unprecedentedly impassioned 
style, unusual for that newspaper (such newspapers usually 
write in diplomatic language similar to that used in Milyu- 
kov's Rech 59 in Russia). It was the wildest proclamation 
addressed to Finland and presenting the question bluntly — the 



fate of the world depended on Finland and the eyes of all 
civilised capitalist countries were fixed on her. We know that 
that was the decisive moment when Yudenich's troops were a 
few versts from Petrograd. It makes no difference whether 
Churchill made the statement quoted or not, he certainly 
pursued that policy. It is well known what pressure the 
Entente brought to bear on those small countries that had 
been hastily formed, were weak and wholly dependent on the 
Entente even in such basic questions as that of food and 
in all other respects. They cannot break away from that 
dependence. All kinds of pressure — financial, food, mili- 
tary — have been applied to force Estonia, Finland, and no 
doubt Latvia, Lithuania and Poland as well, to force that 
whole group of states to make war on us. The history of 
Yudenich's last campaign against Petrograd has shown to the 
full that the Entente's second method of conducting war 
has failed. There can be no doubt that the least bit of aid 
from Finland or — a little more aid — from Estonia would 
have been enough to decide the fate of Petrograd. Nor is 
there any doubt that the Entente, realising the gravity of 
the situation, did everything it could to obtain that aid 
but nevertheless suffered defeat. 

This was the second major international victory that 
we achieved and it was a more complicated victory than the 
first. The first was achieved because it turned out that 
British and French troops could not be retained on the ter- 
ritory of Russia; they did not fight but provided Britain and 
France with rebels who raised the British and French work- 
ers against their own governments. And so it has happened 
that although Russia has been deliberately encircled by a 
ring of small states obviously created and maintained for the 
struggle against Bolshevism, this weapon, too, has turned 
against the Entente. There are bourgeois governments in 
all these states and almost everywhere there are bourgeois 
collaborators in those governments, people who, because of 
their class position, go against the Bolsheviks. Every one 
of these nations, of course, is definitely hostile to the Bol- 
sheviks, but we, nevertheless, have managed to turn those 
bourgeois and collaborators to our side. This seems improb- 
able, but it is true, because each of those states, after 
what it has experienced in the imperialist war, is bound to 



hesitate on the question of whether it is now worth its 
while to fight against the Bolsheviks when the only other 
claimant to power in Russia — a claimant that they have rea- 
son to consider serious — is either Kolchak or Denikin, that 
is, representatives of old imperialist Russia; and there is 
no doubt that Kolchak and Denikin represent old Russia. 
We have, therefore, been given an opportunity to rely on 
another crack in the imperialist camp. During the first 
months following our revolution we were able to hold out 
because the German and British imperialists were at each 
other's throats, but after those six months we were able 
to hold out for more than another six months because the 
troops of the Entente were in no condition to fight against 
us; the following year, however, the year that we now have 
mainly to render account for, we held out successfully be- 
cause the attempt of the Great Powers under whose influence 
the small countries undoubtedly are, the attempt of those 
Great Powers to mobilise the small countries against us has 
been a failure because of the contradiction between the 
interests of world imperialism and the interests of those 
countries. The Entente has already had its paws on each 
of the small countries. They know that when the French, 
American or British capitalists say, "We guarantee you in- 
dependence", that means in practice, "We shall buy from you 
all the sources of your wealth and shall hold you in bondage. 
Furthermore, we shall treat you with the insolence of an 
officer who has come to a foreign country to administer it 
and to speculate in it and who will not consider anybody's 
opinion". They know that the British Ambassador in almost 
all such countries is of greater significance than a local 
king or parliament. And if petty-bourgeois democrats have 
so far been unable to comprehend this verity, reality has 
now compelled them to understand it. It has turned out 
that as far as concerns the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois 
elements of the small countries the imperialists are plunder- 
ing, we are, maybe, not allies, but at any rate more reliable 
and more valuable neighbours than the imperialists. 

That is the second victory over world imperialism that 
we have won. 

That is why we now have every right to say that the 
main difficulties are behind us. There is no doubt that 



the Entente will make many more attempts at armed inter- 
vention in our affairs. Although the latest victories over 
Kolchak and Yudenich have now given spokesmen of all 
those powers cause to say that a campaign against Russia 
is hopeless and to offer us peace, we must realise clearly the 
meaning of such statements. What I am now going to say 
is not for the record.... 

Since we have managed to extract admissions of this 
kind from bourgeois intellectuals, from our merciless ene- 
mies, we have every right to say that the sympathies, not 
only of the working class, but also of extensive circles of 
bourgeois intellectuals are on the side of Soviet power. 
The philistines, the petty bourgeoisie, those who wavered 
in the savage fight between labour and capital, have now come 
over definitely to our side, and we may to some extent 
anticipate their support. 

We must take this victory into consideration and if we 
link it up with the way we, in the long run, achieved the 
victory over Kolchak, the conclusion becomes more convinc- 
ing ... now you may begin writing again, the diplomacy is 

If we ask the question as to what forces made our vic- 
tory over Kolchak possible, we have to admit that the victory 
over Kolchak, despite his having operated on territory where 
the proletariat was in a minority and we were unable to 
give the peasantry direct, real help to overthrow the power 
of the landowners as we did in Russia, despite Kolchak's 
having begun on a front supported by Mensheviks and Social- 
ist-Revolutionaries who established the front of the Constit- 
uent Assembly, despite there having been the most favour- 
able conditions for the formation of a government that could 
rely on the aid of world imperialism — despite all this the 
experiment ended in the complete defeat of Kolchak. We 
have the right to draw the following conclusion from this, 
a conclusion that is very significant to us and should guide us 
in all our activities — the class that can lead the mass of the 
population must triumph historically. The Mensheviks and 
Socialist Revolutionaries are still talking about the Con- 
stituent Assembly, about the will of the nation, and so on, 
but during this period experience has convinced us that in 
revolutionary times the class struggle is carried on in the 



most terrible forms but can lead to victory only when the 
class conducting the struggle is capable of giving leader- 
ship to the majority of the people. In this respect, the 
comparison that was made, not by voting with tickets, but by 
more than a year's experience of the most arduous, most 
bloody struggle that demanded a hundred times more sacri- 
fices than any political struggle — this experience in respect 
of Kolchak has shown that more than any other party we are 
putting into effect the rule of that class the majority of which 
we have proved capable of leading and that we are adding 
the peasantry to our ranks as friends and allies. The example 
of Kolchak demonstrated this. In the social sphere this exam- 
ple has been the latest lesson for us; it shows on whom we can 
depend and who will go against us. 

No matter how greatly the working class may have been 
weakened by the imperialist war and the economic ruin it 
is nevertheless effecting political leadership, but it would 
not be able to if it had not gained the majority of the work- 
ing population, under Russian conditions the peasantry, as 
friends and allies. This has taken place in the Red Army 
where we have been able to employ specialists, the majority of 
whom were against us, and create the army which, according 
to the admission of our enemies, the Socialist-Revolution- 
aries, as evidenced by a resolution of the last Council of 
their party, is a people's and not a mercenary army. 60 The 
working class was able to build up an army the majority of 
which does not belong to that class and was able to 
employ specialists hostile to it only because it led and 
made friends and allies of that mass of working people 
connected with petty proprietorship, who have property con- 
nections and who, therefore, have a profound interest in 
free trading, i.e., in capitalism, in the return to the power 
of money. This is at the bottom of everything we have 
achieved in the past two years. In all our further work, in 
all our further activities, in those activities that must be 
begun in the Ukraine now being liberated, in all 
the organisational work that will be developing in all its 
difficulty and importance after the victory over Denikin, 
we must keep this basic lesson always before our eyes, we 
must remember it more than anything else. This, in my 
opinion, sums up the political results of all our work. 



Comrades, it has been said that war is a continuation of 
politics. We have experienced that in our own war. The 
imperialist war that was a continuation of the politics of 
the imperialists, of the ruling classes, of landowners and 
capitalists, brought forth the hostility of the masses of 
the people and was the best means of revolutionising them. 
Here in Russia the war helped overthrow the monarchy, 
helped abolish landed proprietorship and overthrow the bour- 
geoisie, all of which was done with unparalleled ease only 
because the imperialist war was a continuation and an 
aggravation of imperialist politics that had become more 
insolent. And our war was a continuation of our communist 
politics, the politics of the proletariat. We still read in the 
Menshevik and Socialist-Revolutionary papers and we hear 
from non-party and from wavering people, "You promised 
peace and have given us war, you have deceived the working 
people." And we say that the masses of the working people who 
have not studied Marxism have nevertheless learned full well 
the difference between imperialist and civil war, learned it 
through their class instinct, the instinct of oppressed people 
who have themselves for decades experienced what the 
landowner and capitalist are. Those who have experienced 
oppression for decades all realise that there is a difference 
between wars. The imperialist war was a continuation of impe- 
rialist politics; it aroused the masses against their masters. 
The Civil War is a war against the landowners and capital- 
ists and is a continuation of the policy of overthrowing the 
power of those landowners and capitalists, and each month 
the development of the war has strengthened the bonds 
between the mass of working people and the proletariat that 
has assumed the leadership in the war. No matter how great 
the trials may have been, no matter how frequent the big 
defeats, no matter how serious those defeats have been, no 
matter how many times the enemy has achieved tremendous 
victories and the existence of Soviet power has hung by a 
thread — there have been such moments, and there is no doubt 
the Entente will again try to fight against us — it must be 
said that the experience we have gained is a very sound one. 
That experience has shown that war strengthens the politi- 
cal consciousness of the working people and shows them the 
advantages of Soviet power. Naive people or those who are 



wholly wrapped up in the prejudices of the old petty bour- 
geoisie or of the old bourgeois-democratic parliamentarism 
expect the peasant to decide through an election slip 
whether he will follow the Bolshevik Communists or the 
Socialist-Revolutionaries; they do not want to recognise any 
other decision because they are in favour of rights for the 
people, freedom, the Constituent Assembly, etc. Events made 
it necessary for the peasant to verify the issue in practice. 
After having given the Socialist-Revolutionaries the major- 
ity in the Constituent Assembly, after the policy of the 
Socialist-Revolutionaries had failed and the peasants had to 
deal with the Bolsheviks in practice, they realised that our 
government is a sound one, it is a government that demands 
rather a lot, it is a government that is able to ensure the 
fulfilment of those demands at all costs, it is a government 
that regards the loan of bread to the hungry to be the absolute 
duty of the peasants even if they receive no equivalent in 
return, they realised that ours is a government that will 
ensure the supply of bread to the hungry no matter at what 
cost The peasant saw this and compared our government 
with that of Kolchak and Denikin, and he made his choice, 
not through the ballot-box but by deciding the issue in prac- 
tice, when he had had the experience of both kinds of 
government. The peasant is deciding and will continue to 
decide the question in our favour. 

That is what the history of Kolchak's defeat has taught 
us and that is what our victories in the South have proved. 
That is why we say that literally masses, millions of people 
living in the villages, millions of peasants are coming over 
completely to our side I think this is the chief political 
lesson that we have learned in this period and which we must 
apply to the problems of internal organisation that will, 
with the victory over Denikin near, be placed on the order 
of the day now that it has become possible for us to concen- 
trate on internal development. 

The chief accusation made against us by the European 
petty bourgeoisie concerns our terrorism, our crude suppres- 
sion of the intelligentsia and the petty bourgeoisie. "You 
and your governments have forced all that upon us," we 
say in reply. When people shout about terror we answer, 
"When countries who have the world's fleets at their disposal 



and have armed forces that are a hundred times greater than 
ours pounced upon us and compelled small states to make 
war on us — was that not terrorism?" 

That was real terrorism when all the powers united against 
a country that was one of the most backward and most 
weakened by war. Even Germany kept helping the Entente 
from the time before her defeat when she was supplying 
Krasnov and up to the present day, when that same Germany 
is blockading us and giving direct help to our enemies. This 
attack by world imperialism, this campaign against us, this 
bribery of conspirators inside the country — was this not ter- 
rorism? The reason for our terrorism was that we were 
attacked by armed forces against which we had to bend all our 
efforts. Inside the country we had to act with all persistence, 
we had to muster all our forces. In this case we did not want 
to be — and we decided that we would not be — in the posi- 
tion in which those who collaborated with Kolchak in 
Siberia found themselves, the position in which the German 
collaborationists will find themselves tomorrow, those who 
imagine they represent a government and are relying on the 
Constituent Assembly although at any moment a hundred or 
a thousand officers can push that government out of office. 
This can be understood because those officers constitute a 
trained, organised mass with an excellent knowledge of the 
art of war, that holds all the strings in its hands, that is 
well-informed about the bourgeoisie and the landowners 
and enjoys their sympathies. 

This has been demonstrated by the history of all countries 
since the imperialist war, and today, when faced with 
such terrorism on the part of the Entente, we have the right 
to resort to terror ourselves. 

It follows from this that the accusation of terror, inso- 
far as it is justified, should be against the bourgeoisie and not 
against us. They forced terror upon us. And we shall be 
the first to take steps to confine it to the lowest possible 
minimum as soon as we put an end to the chief source of ter- 
rorism — the invasion of world imperialism, the war plots 
and the military pressure of world imperialism on our 

While speaking of terrorism we must say something about 
our attitude to that middle stratum, the intelligentsia, that 



mostly complain about the brutality of Soviet power and that 
Soviet power puts them in a worse position than before. 

Whatever we, with the meagre means at our disposal, 
can do for the intelligentsia we are doing. We know, of 
course, the little significance of the paper ruble, but we 
also know the significance of the black market as an aid 
to those who cannot get enough food through our food organ- 
isations. In this respect we give the bourgeois intelligentsia 
an advantage. We know that at the moment when world 
imperialism pounced on us we had to introduce strict mili- 
tary discipline and defend ourselves with all the forces we 
could muster. When we are pursuing a revolutionary war we 
cannot, of course, do what all bourgeois states do — leave the 
working people to hear the brunt of the war. The burden of 
the Civil War must be and will be shared by the entire intel- 
ligentsia, all the petty bourgeoisie, and all middle-class 
elements — all of them will bear the burden. It will naturally 
be more difficult for them to bear that burden because 
they have been privileged for decades, but in the interests 
of the social revolution we must place that burden on their 
shoulders, too. This is the way we reason and the way we 
act, and we cannot do otherwise. 

The end of the Civil War will be a step towards improv- 
ing the conditions of those groups. We have already shown by 
our tariff policy and by the declaration in our programme 
that we recognise the need to give these groups better condi- 
tions because the transition from capitalism to communism 
is impossible unless the bourgeois specialists are used; and 
all our victories — all the victories of the Red Army led by 
the proletariat that has drawn over to its side the peasantry 
who are half labourers and half property-owners — were 
achieved partly because of our ability to use bourgeois 
specialists. This policy of ours as expressed in matters mili- 
tary must become the policy of our internal development. 

The experience gained in this period tells us that while 
laying the foundations of the building we have often under- 
taken work on the dome, on all sorts of ornament, etc. 
Perhaps this was, to a certain extent, necessary for a social- 
ist republic. Perhaps we had to build up in all spheres of 
national life. The craving to build up in all spheres is per- 
fectly natural. If we were to look at what has been done 



in the sphere of state organisation we would see almost 
everywhere many things begun and abandoned; these are the 
sort that make one want to say when looking at them that they 
could have waited and we should have begun with the main 
thing. It is quite natural that all our leading people should 
be interested in the tasks that can be carried out only after 
the foundations have been laid. But on the basis of this 
experience we can now say that in future we shall concen- 
trate our efforts more on the main job, on the foundation, on 
those simple problems that are the most difficult to solve 
but which we shall nevertheless solve. These are the problem 
of bread, the problem of fuel and the problem of fighting 
the lice. These are three simple problems that will make 
possible the building of a socialist republic and then our 
victory throughout the world will be a hundred times 
more certain and more triumphant than that with which 
we repulsed the attack of the Entente. 

The bread problem. We have achieved much with our 
requisitioning system. Our food policy has made it possible 
in the second year to acquire three times as much grain as 
in the first. During three months of the last campaign 
more grain was procured than during three months of last 
year, although, as you will hear in the report by the People's 
Commissar for Food, it was accompanied by what were, 
without doubt, great difficulties. One raid by Mamontov that 
took in the whole southern part of the central agricultural 
zone cost us very dear. But we have learned to carry out the 
requisitioning system, i.e., we have learned to make the 
peasants sell their grain to the state at fixed prices, with- 
out an equivalent in exchange. We know full well, of course, 
that paper money is not the equivalent of grain. We know 
that the peasant is loaning us his grain, and we ask him, 
"Should you hold back your grain waiting for an equivalent 
so that the workers can die of starvation? Do you want to 
trade on a free market and take us thereby back to capitalism?" 
Many intellectuals who have read Marx do not understand 
that freedom to trade is a return to capitalism; the peasant, 
however, understands it more easily. He knows that to sell 
bread at free prices, when the starving are prepared to pay 
anything for it, are prepared to give up all they have to escape 
death from starvation — he knows that this is a return to 



exploitation, that it is freedom for the rich to make a profit 
and ruination for the poor. We say that this is a crime against 
the state and we shall not yield an inch in this struggle. 

In this struggle to requisition grain the peasant will 
have to loan his grain to the hungry worker — that is the 
only way to begin proper organisation, to restore industry, 
etc. If the peasant does not do this, there will be a return 
to capitalism. If the peasant feels that he has ties with 
the workers he will be prepared to surrender his grain sur- 
pluses at fixed prices, i.e., for a simple piece of coloured 
paper — this is something essential without which the starv- 
ing worker cannot be saved from death, without which 
industry cannot be rehabilitated. It is an extremely difficult 
problem and it cannot be solved by force alone. No matter 
how much shouting there may be about the Bolsheviks being 
a party that coerces the peasantry, we still say, "Gentle- 
men, it is a lie!" If we were a party that coerces the peas- 
antry, how could we have held out against Kolchak, how 
could we have formed a conscript army in which four-fifths 
of the soldiers are peasants, all of whom are armed and who 
have the example of the imperialist war to show them that 
a rifle can easily be turned in any direction? How can we 
be a party that coerces the peasants — we, a party that 
is putting into effect the alliance between the working class 
and the peasantry, a party that tells the peasantry that 
the transition to free trading is a return to capitalism and 
that our requisitioning of surpluses by force is directed 
against the profiteer and not against the working people? 

The requisitioning of grain must be the basis of all our 
activity. The food problem is at the basis of all problems. 
We have to devote a great deal of effort to defeat Denikin. 
There must not be the slightest hesitation or carelessness 
until the victory is complete, for all sorts of turns are possi- 
ble. Whenever there is the slightest improvement in the war 
situation, however, we must devote greater effort to the 
work of food supplies because that is the basis of everything. 
The requisitioning must be carried out in full. Only when 
we have solved that problem shall we have a socialist foun- 
dation, and on that socialist foundation we shall be able to 
erect the splendid edifice of socialism that we have so often 
begun to build from the top and which has so often collapsed. 



Another basic problem is that of fuel, the main founda- 
tion for our development. This is the problem we have come 
up against now, since we cannot take advantage of our suc- 
cesses in food supplies, since we cannot transport the grain, 
cannot make full use of our victories because there is no 
fuel. We still do not have a proper apparatus to settle the 
fuel problem, but it is possible to settle it. 

There is a shortage of coal throughout Europe today. 
If the fuel problem is so acute in the richest of the victor 
countries, even those like America that has never been 
attacked or invaded, it naturally affects us too. It will 
take us several years to rehabilitate the coal industry, even 
under the best conditions. 

We have to save ourselves with firewood. We are devot- 
ing more and more Party forces to this work. During the 
last week the greatest attention has been paid to this prob- 
lem in the Council of People's Commissars and the Council of 
Defence and a number of measures have been adopted that 
should effect a turning-point in this sphere similar to that 
effected by our armies on the Southern Front. Our activities 
in this field must not slacken and every step must bring 
us closer to victory in the battle against the fuel hunger. 
The material supplies are available. Until we have restored 
the coal industry we can manage with firewood and keep in- 
dustry supplied with fuel. We must devote all Party forces, 
comrades, to that basic problem. 

Our third problem is that of the fight against lice, against 
the lice that carry typhus. Typhus among a population that 
is exhausted by hunger, is ill, has no bread, soap or fuel, 
may prove a calamity that will prevent our tackling any 
sort of socialist development. 

This is the first step in our struggle for culture and this, 
too, is a struggle for existence. 

These are the main problems. To these I should like to 
draw the attention, more than to anything else, of comrades 
who are members of the Party. So far the attention we have 
been paying to these problems is so little as to be out of 
all proportion. Nine-tenths of the forces that are not 
engaged in war activities — which must not be lessened for a 
single minute — must be directed to these priority tasks. 
We now have a clear picture of the issues at stake. Everyone 



must make the best possible effort; all our forces must be 
devoted to these tasks. 

With this I shall end the political section of the report. 
As far as the international part is concerned, Comrade Chi- 
cherin will report on that in detail and will read you the pro- 
posal we should like to make to the belligerent countries 
in the name of the Congress of Soviets. 

I shall deal very briefly with Party tasks. In the course 
of the revolution our Party has been confronted with a most 
important task. It is natural, on the one hand, that all the 
worst elements should cling to the ruling party merely be- 
cause it is the ruling party. On the other hand, the working 
class is exhausted and is naturally weak in a country that 
is in ruins. Nevertheless it is only the advanced section of 
the working class, its vanguard, that is capable of leading 
the country. To accomplish this task in the sphere 
of state organisation we have employed subbotniks as one 
of the means. The slogan we have put forward is this — the 
first who can join our Party are those who have volunteered 
for the front; those who cannot fight must show in their own 
places that they understand what the workers' party is, 
they must show it by applying the principles of communism 
in practice. And communism, if you take that word in its 
strict meaning, is voluntary unpaid work for the common 
good that does not depend on individual differences, that wipes 
out all memories of everyday prejudices, wipes out stagnation, 
tradition, differences between branches of work, differences 
in the rate of pay for labour, etc. This is one of the greatest 
guarantees that we are drawing the working class and all 
working people into the work of peace-time organisation as 
well as into war-time activities. The further development of 
communist subbotniks must be a school. Every step must be 
accompanied by the attraction into the Party of working- 
class elements and the most reliable people from other classes. 
We achieve this by means of re-registration. We are not 
afraid to remove those who are not fully reliable. We also 
achieve this by trusting a Party member who comes to us in 
a difficult time. Those Party members, as today's Central 
Committee report shows, who came to us in hundreds and 
thousands when Yudenich was a few versts from Petrograd 
and Denikin was north of Orel, when the bourgeoisie were 



already jubilant — those Party members are worthy of our 
trust. We value the extension of the Party on these lines. 

After we have carried out the expansion of the Party on 
these lines we must shut the gates, we must be particularly 
cautious. We must say that now the Party is victorious we 
do not need new Party members. We know full well that in a 
disintegrating capitalist society a mass of harmful people 
will try to worm their way into the Party. We must create 
a party that will be a party of workers in which there is no 
place for alien elements, but we must also draw the masses 
into the work, those who are outside the Party. How is this 
to be done? The means to this end — workers' and peasants' 
non-party conferences. An article on non-party conferences 61 
was recently published in Pravda. This article, written by 
Comrade Rostopchin, deserves special attention. I do not 
know any other way of solving this problem of profound his- 
torical importance. The Party cannot throw its doors wide 
open, because it is absolutely inevitable that in the epoch 
of disintegrating capitalism it will gather to itself the 
worst elements. The Party must be so narrow that it draws 
into its ranks only those elements from other classes that 
it has an opportunity to test with great caution. 

But we have several hundred thousand Party members in 
a country with a population of more than a hundred million. 
How can such a party govern? In the first place there are, 
and must be, the trade unions to assist it, and these have 
millions of members; the second assistant is non-party con- 
ferences. At these non-party conferences we must be able 
to approach the non-proletarian section, we must overcome 
prejudice and petty-bourgeois vacillation — that is one of 
our most important, fundamental tasks. 

We must assess the success of our Party organisations, 
not only by the number of Party members engaged in some 
kind of work, not only by the degree of success in carrying out 
the re-registration, but by non-party workers' and peasants' 
conferences, whether they are arranged correctly and often 
enough, that is, by the ability of the organisation to 
approach those masses that cannot at the moment join the 
Party but which we must draw into the work. 

If we have beaten the Entente it is probably because 
we have earned the sympathy of the working class, and of the 



non-party masses. If we have succeeded in defeating Kolchak 
it is probably because he was no longer able to draw more 
forces from the reservoir of the working people. We have 
a reservoir that no other government in the world has 
and which no government in the world except the government 
of the working class can have, because only the government 
of the working class can draw with absolute confidence on 
the most downtrodden and most backward working people. 
We can and must draw our forces from among the non-party 
workers and peasants because they are our true friends. For 
the solution of the bread and fuel problems and for the fight 
against typhus we can draw forces from these masses that 
were the most oppressed by the capitalists and landowners. 
And we are assured of the support of those masses. We shall 
continue to draw more and more forces from these masses and 
we may say that in the end we shall defeat all our enemies. 
And we shall work miracles in the sphere of peaceful con- 
struction (to be developed in proper style after Denikin has 
been defeated) that will be greater than those we have worked 
in the military sphere in the past two years. 

Bulletin of the C.C., Published according to the 

R.C.P.(B.) No. 9, text of the Bulletin of the 

December 20, 1919 C.C., R.C.P.(B.), verified with 

the verbatim report 





I should have declined to reply to the discussion if Com- 
rade Sapronov had not egged me on; I want to polemise a 
little with him. There is no doubt that we should listen to 
what experienced local functionaries have to say. All their 
advice is valuable to us. But I ask you, what is there bad 
in what is written here? I was not acquainted with that 
point. Sapronov gave it to me. It says here, "Draft Instruc- 
tions to Gubernia, Uyezd and Volost Committees on Work in 
the Countryside." 62 So the instructions are addressed to those 
local functionaries through whom the work in the localities 
is carried on. When agitators, commissars, agents or 
representatives of the Central Committee are sent they are 
undoubtedly always given instructions. Clause 9 here says: 
"Obtain from state farms and from communes help for the 
neighbouring peasants, immediate and real help." I assumed 
that even an agent of the Central Committee would have a 
head on his shoulders. If regulations have been approved, how 
can he demand that they give up a cart, a horse or something? 
On this score we have instructions enough — some people say 
there are too many of them. And an agent of the C.C. can 
make demands only insofar as the instructions allow it, and 
no commune manager would allow a cart, a horse or a cow to 
be given away. But this is a serious question, because it 
often spoils our relations with the peasants, and in the 
Ukraine they may be spoiled a second time, if we are unable to 
put our political line into effect. It is not difficult to carry 



it out, and the peasant will be glad of even a little help. 
It is not enough to adopt an instruction, you must be able 
to carry it out. If Comrade Sapronov is afraid that a state 
farm will be robbed of a cow, a horse or a cart, let him share 
his tremendous experience in this field with us and say 
"Let us give the peasants implements free of charge or at 
low cost". That I can understand. And in any case Clause 9 
will not be abolished by that, it will, on the contrary, 
receive confirmation. The relations between the communes 
and state farms and the neighbouring peasants is one of the 
most painful aspects of our entire policy. It will be still 
more serious in the Ukraine and tomorrow it will be the same 
in Siberia. Today we have won over the Siberian peasant 
ideologically by liberating him from Kolchak. But it will 
not be of any duration unless we can so arrange matters 
that the peasant gets real assistance, and it stands to reason 
that every agent working in the countryside must be given 
the relevant instructions. And when an agent makes his 
report he must be asked: "Where and in what way did the 
state farms help the peasant?" Comrade Sapronov's direc- 
tives on this point were incorrect. It is our basic, uncon- 
ditional duty to make use of the experience of local Party 
functionaries. (Applause.) 

Bulletin of the C.C., Published according to the 

R.C.P.(B.) No. 9, text of the Bulletin of the C.C., 

December 20, 1919 R.C.P.(B.), verified with the 

verbatim report 





The Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic wishes 
to live in peace with all peoples and devote all its efforts 
to internal development so as to put production, transport 
and government affairs in order on the basis of the Soviet 
system; this has so far been prevented by the intervention of 
the Entente and the starvation blockade. 

The workers' and peasants' government has made repeated 
peace proposals to the Entente powers — the message from the 
People's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs to the American 
representative, Mr. Poole, on August 5, 1918; to President 
Wilson on October 24, 1918; to all Entente governments, 
through representatives of neutral countries on November 3, 
1918; a message from the Sixth All-Russia Congress of Soviets 
on November 7, 1918; Litvinov's Note in Stockholm to all 
Entente representatives on December 23, 1918; then there 
were the messages of January 12, January 17 and February 4, 
1919, and the draft treaty drawn up jointly with Bullitt on 
March 12, 1919; and a message through Nansen on May 7, 

The Seventh Congress of Soviets fully approves these 
many steps taken by the Council of People's Commissars and 
the People's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs, once more 
confirms its lasting desire for peace and again proposes to 
the Entente powers, Britain, France, the United States of 
America, Italy and Japan, individually and collectively, 
to begin immediately negotiations on peace; the Congress 
instructs the All-Russia Central Executive Committee, the 



Council of People's Commissars and the People's Commis- 
sariat of Foreign Affairs to continue this peace policy sys- 
tematically (or: to continue this peace policy systematically, 
taking all appropriate measures to ensure its success). 

Written on December 2, 1919 

First published in 1932 Published according to the 






Comrades, there is little for me to say, although 
unfortunately I shall have to raise objections, not so much to 
Comrade Yakovlev who spoke before me, as to Comrades 
Bubnov and Drobnis who spoke after me. Nevertheless I 
shall have to make only a partial comment. 

Insofar as Comrade Rakovsky's speech is concerned, I 
must say that when he said that state farms must be the basis 
of our communist construction he was wrong. Under no cir- 
cumstances can we organise our affairs in that way. We must 
accept the fact that we should convert only a very small part 
of the progressive farms into state farms, otherwise we shall 
not effect a bloc with the petty peasants — and we need that 
bloc. When some of the comrades said that I recommend a bloc 
with the Borotba Party 64 they mistook my meaning. Here I 
compared the policy that must be pursued in respect of the 
Borotba Party with the policy we had pursued in respect 
of the Right Socialist-Revolutionaries. We were then accused, 
in the first week after October — at peasant congresses, inci- 
dentally — of not wanting to use the forces of the peasantry 
once we had seized power. In reply I said that we had taken 
over their programme in its entirety so as to use the forces 
of the peasantry — we want to do that, but we don't want an 
alliance with Socialist-Revolutionaries. Comrade Manuilsky, 
like Comrades Drobnis and Bubnov, was, therefore, making 
an extremely strange mistake in asserting that I recommend a 
bloc with the Borotba Party. My opinion is that we must 



demonstrate that we need a bloc with the Ukrainian peasantry, 
and in order to achieve that bloc we must polemise with 
the Borotba people in a way that differs from the present polem- 
ics. All those who spoke about the national question — Com- 
rades Drobnis and Bubnov and many others spoke about it — 
show by their criticism of the C.C. resolution that they are 
pursuing the very same policy of "independence" we reproved 
the Kiev people for. Comrade Manuilsky is making a peculiar 
mistake in thinking that we accused them of independence 
in the national sense, in the sense of Ukrainian self- 
determination. We reproved them for their "independence" in 
the sense of their not wanting to consider Moscow's views, 
the views of the Central Committee in Moscow. The word 
was used jokingly and had a completely different meaning. 

The issue is now the following. Do we need a bloc with 
the Ukrainian peasantry, do we need a policy of the type we 
needed at the end of 1917 and for many months in 1919? 
I maintain that we do and that for this reason most of the 
state farms must be handed over for actual distribution. 
We need a struggle against kulak farms, we need a struggle 
against petty-bourgeois prejudices, we need a struggle 
against the guerrilla bands. The Borotba Party talk a lot 
about the national question but they say nothing about the 
guerrillas. We must demand that the Borotba people disband 
the teachers' union even though it uses the Ukrainian lan- 
guage and bears the state seal of the Ukraine — it must be 
disbanded for the sake of those principles of proletarian com- 
munist policy for which we disbanded our own All-Russia 
Teachers' Union; we disbanded it because it did not imple- 
ment the principles of proletarian dictatorship but defended 
the interests and pursued the policy of the petty bourgeoisie. 

First published in 1932 

Published according to 
the verbatim report 



DECEMBER 4, 1919 

Comrades, I am very glad to greet your first congress of 
agricultural communes and agricultural artels on behalf 
of the government. Of course, from all the activities of 
the Soviet government you know what tremendous signifi- 
cance we attach to the communes, artels, and all organisations 
generally that aim at transforming and at gradually assist- 
ing the transformation of small, individual peasant farming 
into socialised, co-operative, or artel farming. You are aware 
that the Soviet government long ago allotted the sum of one 
thousand million rubles to assist efforts of this kind. 66 
The Statute on Socialist Agrarian Measures 67 particularly 
stresses the significance of communes, artels, and all enter- 
prises for the joint cultivation of the land, and the Soviet 
government is exerting every effort to ensure that this law 
shall not remain on paper only, but shall really produce the 
benefits it is intended to produce. 

The importance of all enterprises of this kind is tremen- 
dous, because if the old, poverty-stricken peasant farming 
remains unchanged there can be no question of building up a 
stable socialist society. Only if we succeed in proving to the 
peasants in practice the advantages of common, collective, co- 
operative, artel cultivation of the soil, only if we succeed 
in helping the peasant by means of co-operative or artel 
farming, will the working class, which wields state power, be 
really able to convince the peasant that its policy is correct 
and thus secure the real and lasting following of the millions 



of peasants. It is therefore impossible to exaggerate the 
importance of every measure intended to encourage co-opera- 
tive, artel forms of farming. We have millions of individual 
farms in our country, scattered and dispersed throughout 
remote rural districts. It would be absolutely absurd to 
attempt to reshape these farms in any rapid way, by issuing 
an order or bringing pressure to bear from without. We 
fully realise that we can influence the millions of small 
peasant farms only gradually and cautiously and only by 
a successful practical example, for the peasants are far 
too practical and cling far too tenaciously to the old 
methods of farming to consent to any serious change merely 
on the basis of advice or book instructions. That is im- 
possible, and it would be absurd. Only when it has been 
proved in practice, by experience comprehensible to the peas- 
ants, that the transition to the co-operative, artel form of 
farming is essential and possible, shall we be entitled to say 
that in this vast peasant country, Russia, an important 
step towards socialist agriculture has been taken. Con- 
sequently, the vast importance that attaches to communes, 
artels, and co-operative farms lays on all of you tremendous 
state and socialist obligations and naturally makes it 
imperative for the Soviet government and its representatives 
to treat this question with especial attention and caution. 

In our law on socialist agrarian measures it is stated 
that we consider it the absolute duty of all co-operative, 
artel agricultural enterprises not to isolate and sever them- 
selves from the surrounding peasant population, but to afford 
them assistance. This is stipulated in the law, it is repeated 
in the rules of all the communes, artels, and co-operatives; 
it is constantly stressed in the instructions and rulings of 
our Commissariat of Agriculture and of all Soviet govern- 
ment bodies. But the whole point is to find a really practical 
method of putting this into effect. I am still not convinced 
that we have overcome this principal difficulty. And I should 
like your congress, at which practical workers in collective 
farming from all parts of Russia have the opportunity of 
sharing their experience, to put an end to all doubts and to 
prove that we are mastering, are beginning to master in 
practice, the task of consolidating the artels, co-operative 
farms, and communes and every form of enterprise for 


collective and socialised farming generally. But in order 
to prove this, practical results are required. 

When we read the rules of the agricultural communes, or 
books devoted to this question, it might appear that we 
devote too much space in them to propaganda and the theoreti- 
cal justification of the need to organise communes. Of course, 
that is necessary, for without detailed propaganda, without 
explaining the advantages of co-operative farming, and with- 
out repeating this idea thousands and thousands of times 
we cannot expect the broad masses of peasants to take an 
interest in it and undertake practical tests of the methods 
of carrying it into effect. Of course, propaganda is necessary, 
and there is no need to fear repetition, for what may appear 
to us to be repetition is most likely for hundreds and thou- 
sands of peasants not repetition, but a truth revealed for 
the first time. You may think that we are devoting too much 
attention to propaganda, but it must be said that we ought 
to devote a hundred times more. And when I say this, I mean 
it in the sense that if we go to the peasant with general 
explanations of the advantages of organising agricultural 
communes, and at the same time are unable in actual fact 
to show the practical advantage that will accrue to him from 
co-operative, artel farms, he will not have the slightest 
confidence in our propaganda. 

The law says that the communes, artels, and co-opera- 
tive farms must assist the surrounding peasant population. 
But the state, the workers' government, is providing a fund 
of one thousand million rubles for the purpose of assisting 
the agricultural communes and artels. And, of course, if 
any commune were to assist the peasants out of this fund I am 
afraid it would only arouse ridicule among the peasants. 
And it would be absolutely justified. Every peasant will 
say: "It goes without saying that if you are getting a fund 
of one thousand million rubles it means nothing to you to 
throw a little our way." I am afraid the peasant will only 
jeer, for he pays considerable attention to this matter, and 
is very distrustful of it. He has been accustomed for centuries 
to expect only oppression from the state, and he is there- 
fore in the habit of regarding everything that comes from 
the state with suspicion. And if the agricultural communes 
give assistance to the peasants merely for the purpose of 



fulfilling the letter of the law, such assistance will be not 
only useless but harmful. For the name "agricultural com- 
mune" is a great one; it is associated with the conception 
of communism. It will be a good thing if the communes; 
show in practice that they are indeed seriously working 
for the improvement of peasant farming; that will undoubted- 
ly enhance the prestige of the Communists and the Communist 
Party. But it has frequently happened that the communes have 
only succeeded in provoking a negative attitude among the 
peasantry, and the word "commune" has even at times become 
a call to fight communism. And this happened not only when 
stupid attempts were made to drive the peasants into the com- 
munes by force. The absurdity of this was so obvious that 
the Soviet government long ago forbade it. And I hope that 
if isolated examples of such coercion are to be met with now, 
they are very few, and that you will take advantage of the 
present congress to see to it that the last trace of this out- 
rage is swept from the face of the Soviet Republic, and that 
the neighbouring peasant population may not be able to 
point to a single instance in support of the old opinion that 
membership of a commune is in one way or another associated 
with coercion. 

But even if we eliminate this old shortcoming, completely 
suppress this outrage, it will still be only a small fraction 
of what has to be done. For it will still be necessary for 
the state to help the communes, and we would not be Com- 
munists and champions of socialist economy if we did not 
give state aid to every kind of collective agricultural enter- 
prise. We must do so because it is in accordance with all 
our aims, and because we know perfectly well that these 
co-operatives, artels, and collective organisations are innova- 
tions, and if support is not given them by the working class 
in power they will not take root. In order that they should 
take root, and in view of the fact that the state is affording 
them monetary and every other kind of support, we must see 
to it that they do not provoke the ridicule of the peasants. 
What we must be most careful about is that the peasants 
should not say of members of communes, artels and co-opera- 
tives that they are state pensioners, that they differ from 
the peasants only by the fact that they are receiving privi- 
leges. If we are to give land and subsidies for building 



purposes out of the thousand-million-ruble fund, any fool 
will live somewhat better than the ordinary peasant. What 
is there communistic here, the peasant will ask, and where 
is the improvement? What are we to respect them for? If you 
pick out a few score or a few hundred individuals and give 
them a thousand million, of course they will work. 

Such an attitude on the part of the peasants is most to 
be feared, and I should like to draw the attention of the 
comrades assembled at the congress to this. The problem must 
be solved practically, so as to enable us to say that we have 
not only averted this danger, but have also found means 
whereby the peasant will not be led to think in this way, 
but will, on the contrary, find in every commune and artel 
something which the state is assisting, will find in them new 
methods of farming which show their advantages over the old 
methods not by books and speeches (that is not worth much) 
but in practice. That is why the problem is so difficult to 
solve, and that is why it is hard for us, who have only dry 
figures before us, to judge whether we have proved in prac- 
tice that every commune and every artel is really superior to 
every enterprise of the old system and that the workers' 
government is here helping the peasant. 

I think that for the practical solution of this problem, 
it would be very desirable for you, who have a practical 
acquaintance with a number of neighbouring communes, artels 
and co-operatives, to work out real, practical methods for 
the verification of the implementation of the law demanding 
that the agricultural communes give assistance to the sur- 
rounding population, the way the transition to socialist 
farming is being put into effect and what concrete forms it is 
taking in each commune, artel and co-operative farm, how it 
is actually being put into practice, how many co-operatives 
and communes are in fact putting it into practice, and how 
many are only preparing to do so, how many cases have been 
observed when the communes have given assistance, and what 
character this assistance bears — philanthropic or socialist. 

If out of the aid given them by the state the communes 
and artels set aside a portion for the peasants, that will 
only give the peasants grounds far believing that they are 
merely being helped by kind-hearted people, but will not by 
any means be proof of transition to a socialist system. The 



peasants have for ages been accustomed to regard such "kind- 
hearted people" with suspicion. We must know how to keep 
a check on the way this new social order has manifested it- 
self, by what methods it is being proved to the peasants that 
co-operative, artel cultivation of the soil is better than 
individual peasant farming, and that it is better not because 
of state aid. We must be able to show the peasants the prac- 
tical realisation of this new order even without state aid. 

Unfortunately, I shall not be able to stay till the end 
of your congress and I shall therefore be unable to take 
part in elaborating these methods of control. But I am cer- 
tain that with the aid of the comrades in charge of our Com- 
missariat of Agriculture you will succeed in finding these 
methods. I have read with great satisfaction an article by 
the People's Commissar of Agriculture, Comrade Sereda, in 
which he stresses that the communes and co-operatives must 
not isolate themselves from the surrounding peasant popula- 
tion but must endeavour to improve the latter's farms. 
A commune must be organised so that it will serve as a model, 
and the neighbouring peasants will be attracted to it. We 
must be able to set them a practical example of how to 
assist people who are running their farms under the difficult 
conditions of a shortage of goods and general economic chaos. 
In order to define the practical methods of effecting this, 
instructions must be drawn up in the greatest detail and 
should enumerate all forms of assistance that can be 
given to neighbouring peasants; the instructions should ask 
each commune to give an account of what it has done to help 
the peasants, and indicate methods whereby each of the 
existing two thousand communes and nearly four thousand 
artels may become a nucleus capable of strengthening the 
peasants' conviction that collective farming, as a form of 
transition to socialism, is something of benefit to them, and 
not a whim or the ravings of a disordered mind. 

I have already said that the law requires the communes 
to render assistance to the surrounding peasant population. 
We could not express ourselves otherwise in the law, or 
give any practical instructions in it. It was our business 
to establish the general principles, and to count on polit- 
ically-conscious comrades in the localities scrupulously 
applying the law and being able to find a thousand ways of 



applying it practically in the concrete economic conditions 
of each given locality. But, of course, every law can be 
evaded, even under pretence of observing it. And so the law 
on assisting the peasants, if it is not scrupulously applied, 
may become a mere game, and lead to results quite contrary 
to those intended. 

The communes must develop in such a way that peasant 
farming conditions will begin to change by contact with 
them and by the economic help they give, so that every com- 
mune, artel, and co-operative will be able to make the begin- 
nings of an improvement in these conditions and put them 
into effect, thereby proving to the peasants in practice that 
this change can be only of benefit to them. 

Naturally, you may think we shall be told that 
in order to improve farming we need conditions that differ 
from the present economic chaos caused by four years of 
imperialist war and the two years of civil war forced on us 
by the imperialists. With such conditions as now exist in 
our country, how can one think of any widespread improve- 
ment in farming — God grant that we may carry on somehow 
and not die of starvation! 

It will be only natural for doubts of this kind to be 
expressed. But if I had to reply to such objections, I would say 
this: assume that owing to the disorganisation of economic 
life, to economic chaos, goods shortage, poor transport 
and the destruction of cattle and implements, an extensive 
improvement of farming cannot be effected. But there is no 
doubt that a certain, not extensive, improvement is possible 
in a number of individual cases. But let us assume that even 
this cannot be done. Does that mean that the communes can- 
not produce changes in the life of the neighbouring peasants 
and cannot prove to the peasants that collective agricultural 
enterprises are not an artificial hothouse growth, but a new 
form of assistance to the working peasants on the part of the 
workers' government, and an aid to the working peasants in 
their struggle against the kulaks? I am convinced that even 
if the matter is regarded in this way, even if we grant the 
impossibility of effecting improvements under the present 
conditions of economic chaos, a very great deal may never- 
theless be accomplished if there are conscientious Commu- 
nists in the communes and artels. 



To bear this out, I would refer to what in our cities has 
been called subbotniks. This is the name given to the 
several hours' unpaid voluntary work done by city workers 
over and above the usual working day and devoted to some 
public need. The subbotniks were initiated in Moscow by the 
workers of the Moscow-Kazan Railway. One of the appeals of 
the Soviet government pointed out that the Red Army men at 
the front are making unprecedented sacrifices, and that, in 
spite of all the hardships they are obliged to undergo, they 
are gaining unprecedented victories over our enemies, and 
at the same time stated that we can clinch our victories only 
if such heroism and such self-sacrifice are displayed not 
only at the front, but also in the rear. The Moscow workers 
responded to this appeal by organising subbotniks. There can 
be no doubt that the workers of Moscow are experiencing 
greater privation and want than the peasants. If you were 
to acquaint yourselves with their conditions of life and 
give some thought to the fact that in spite of these incredi- 
bly hard conditions they were able to organise subbotniks, 
you would agree that no reference to arduous conditions 
can serve as an excuse for not doing what can be done under 
any conditions by applying the method of the Moscow work- 
ers. Nothing helped so much to enhance the prestige of 
the Communist Party in the towns, to increase the respect 
of non-party workers for the Communists, as these subbot- 
niks when they ceased to be isolated instances and when 
non-party workers saw in practice that the members of the 
governing Communist Party have obligations and duties, 
and that the Communists admit new members to the Party 
not in order that they may enjoy the advantages connected 
with the position of a governing party, but that they may 
set an example of real communist labour, i.e., labour per- 
formed gratis. Communism is the highest stage in the 
development of socialism, when people work because they real- 
ise the necessity of working for the common good. We know 
that we cannot establish a socialist order now — God grant 
that it may be established in our country in our children's 
time, or perhaps in our grandchildren's time. But we say that 
the members of the governing Communist Party assume the 
greater burden of the difficulties in the fight against capi- 
talism, mobilise the best Communists for the front, and 


demand of such as cannot be used for this purpose that they 
take part in subbotniks. 

By organising these subbotniks, which have become wide- 
spread in every large industrial city, participation in which 
the Party now demands from every one of its members, 
punishing non-fulfilment even by expulsion from the Party — 
by applying this method in the communes, artels, and 
co-operatives, you can, and must, even under the very worst 
conditions, see to it that the peasant regards every commune, 
artel, and co-operative as an association which is distin- 
guished not by the fact that it receives state subsidies, but by 
the fact that within it are gathered some of the best working- 
class people who not only preach socialism for others, but 
are themselves capable of realising it, who are capable of 
showing that even under the worst conditions they can con- 
duct their farms on communist lines and help the surrounding 
peasant population in every possible way. On this question 
there can be no such excuses as the goods shortage, or absence 
of seed, or loss of cattle. This will be a test which, at all 
events, will enable us to say definitely to what extent the 
difficult task we have taken on ourselves has been carried 
out in practice. 

I am certain that this general meeting of representatives 
of communes, co-operatives and artels will discuss this and 
will realise that the application of this method will really 
serve as a powerful instrument for the consolidation of the 
communes and co-operatives, and will achieve such practi- 
cal results that nowhere in Russia will there be a single 
case of hostility towards the communes, artels, and co-oper- 
atives on the part of the peasants. But that is not enough. 
What is required is that the peasants should show a sympa- 
thetic attitude towards them. For our part, we representa- 
tives of the Soviet government will do everything in our 
power to help to bring this about and to see to it that state 
assistance from the thousand-million-ruble fund, or from 
other sources, shall be forthcoming only in cases when the 
labour communes or artels have actually established closer 
contacts with the life of their peasant neighbours. Unless 
these conditions are fulfilled, we consider any assistance 
given to the artels and the co-operatives not only useless, but 
definitely harmful. Assistance given by the communes to 



the neighbouring peasants must not be regarded as assistance 
which is merely given out of superfluity; this assistance 
must be socialist assistance, i.e., it must enable the peasants 
to replace their isolated, individual farming by co-operative 
farming. And this can be done only by the subbotnik method 
of which I have here spoken. 

If you learn from the experience of the city workers, who, 
although living in conditions immeasurably worse than those 
of the peasants, initiated the movement for subbotniks, I am 
certain that, with your general and unanimous support, we 
shall bring about a situation when each of the several thou- 
sand existing communes and artels will become a genuine 
nursery for communist ideas and views among the peasants, 
a practical example showing them that, although it is still 
a small and feeble growth, it is nevertheless not an artificial, 
hothouse growth, but a true growth of the new socialist 
system. Only then shall we gain a lasting victory over the 
old ignorance, impoverishment and want, and only then 
will the difficulties we meet in our future course hold out no 
terrors for us. 

Pravda Nos. 273 and 274 
December 5 and 6, 1919 

Published according 
to the Pravda text 


DECEMBER 5-9, 1919 

Published in Pravda Published according to Seventh 

Nos. 275, 276, 277, All-Russia Congress of Soviets of 

December 7, 9, 10, 1919 Workers' , Peasants', Red Army 

and Cossack Deputies, Verbatim 

Moscow, 1920, verified with the 
shorthand notes 





(Applause. Delegates greet Lenin with a standing ovation.) 
Comrades, in accordance with a decision of the Presidium 
the political report I am making is to be the joint report of 
the All-Russia Central Executive Committee and the Coun- 
cil of People's Commissars. I trust that you are not expecting 
me to enumerate the laws and administrative measures 
introduced by us during the year under review. No doubt the 
newspapers have made you familiar with them. Further- 
more, small booklets published by most of our commissariats 
and describing their main activities during the period under 
review are being distributed to all Congress delegates; I 
should like to draw your attention to a number of summarised 
results, which in my opinion may be deduced from our 
experience and which may serve as useful instructions and 
material for the future work of all comrade delegates in the 

When speaking of the political results and lessons of our 
activities, the Soviet Republic's international position 
naturally takes first place. Both prior to October and during 
the October Revolution, we always said that we regard our- 
selves and can only regard ourselves as one of the contin- 
gents of the international proletarian army, a contingent 
which came to the fore, not because of its level of develop- 
ment and preparedness, but because of Russia's exceptional 
conditions; we always said that the victory of the socialist 



revolution, therefore, can only be regarded as final when it 
becomes the victory of the proletariat in at least several 
advanced countries. It was in this respect that we experi- 
enced the greatest difficulties. 

Our banking on the world revolution, if you can call it 
that, has on the whole been fully justified. But from the 
point of view of the speed of its development we have endured 
an exceptionally difficult period; we have seen for our- 
selves that the revolution's development in more advanced 
countries has proved to be considerably slower, considerably 
more difficult, considerably more complicated. This should 
not surprise us for it was naturally easier for a country such 
as Russia to start a socialist revolution than it is for the 
advanced countries. But, in any case, this slower, more 
complicated, more zigzag development of the socialist 
revolution in Western Europe has burdened us with incredi- 
ble difficulties. The question that primarily comes to mind is: 
how was it possible for such a miracle to have occurred, for 
Soviet power to have held out for two years in a backward, 
ruined and war-weary country, in the face of the stubborn 
struggle waged against it first by German imperialism, which 
at that time was considered omnipotent, and then by Entente 
imperialism, which a year ago settled accounts with Ger- 
many, had no rivals and lorded it over all the countries on 
earth? From the point of view of a simple calculation of the 
forces involved, from the point of view of a military assess- 
ment of these forces, it really is a miracle, because the En- 
tente was and continues to be immeasurably stronger than we 
are. Nevertheless, the year under review is noteworthy most 
of all for our having won a tremendous victory, so great a 
victory that I think we may say without exaggeration that 
our main difficulties are already behind us. No matter how 
great the dangers and difficulties in store for us, the main 
ones are evidently behind us. We must understand the 
reasons for this, and, what is most important, must correctly 
determine our future policy, since the future will almost 
certainly bring many further attempts by the Entente at 
intervention, and possibly a rebirth of the previous pred- 
atory alliance between international and Russian capital- 
ists to restore the power of the landowners and capitalists, 
to overthrow Soviet rule in Russia, in short, an alliance 



pursuing the old aim of extinguishing the centre of the world 
socialist conflagration — the Russian Socialist Federative 
Soviet Republic. 

Examining the history of the Entente intervention and 
its political lesson for us from this point of view, I would 
say that it could be divided into three main stages, each 
of which has successively given us full and lasting victory. 

The first stage, naturally the most convenient and easiest 
for the Entente countries, involved their attempt to settle 
matters with Soviet Russia by using their own troops. Of 
course, after the Entente countries had defeated Germany 
they had armies of millions of men who had not yet openly 
declared for peace and who did not immediately recover 
from the fright given them by the bogey of German imperial- 
ism, which had been used to scare them in all the Western 
countries. At that time, of course, from the military point 
of view, and from the point of view of foreign policy, it 
would have been easy for the Entente countries to take a 
tenth part of their armies and dispatch them to Russia. 
Note that they completely dominated at sea, that they had 
complete naval supremacy. Troop transportation and sup- 
plies were always completely under their control. Had the 
Entente countries, who hated us as only the bourgeoisie can 
hate the socialist revolution, then been able to fling even a 
tenth part of their armies against us with any success, there 
cannot be the slightest doubt that Soviet Russia would 
have been doomed and would have met the same fate as 

Why did the Entente countries fail to achieve this? They 
landed troops in Murmansk. The drive into Siberia was 
undertaken with the aid of Entente troops, and Japanese 
troops continue to hold a distant slice of Eastern Siberia, 
while there were military units, even if not big ones, from 
all the Entente states in all parts of Western Siberia. Then 
French troops were landed in the South of Russia. That was 
the first stage of international intervention in our affairs, 
the first attempt, so to speak, to crush the Soviets with troops 
from the Entente's own countries, i.e., with the aid of work- 
ers and peasants of the more advanced countries, who 
were splendidly equipped; generally speaking the Entente 
countries lacked nothing in the way of technical and material 



means for the campaign. There were no obstacles confront- 
ing them. How, then, are we to explain the failure of that 
attempt? It ended in the Entente countries having to with- 
draw their troops, because they proved incapable of waging 
a struggle against revolutionary Soviet Russia. That, com- 
rades, has always been our main and principal argument. 
From the very outset of the revolution we have said that 
we constitute a party of the international proletariat, and 
that, however great the difficulties facing the revolution, 
there would come a time when, at the most decisive moment, 
the sympathy, the solidarity of the workers oppressed by 
international imperialism would make itself felt. For this 
we were accused of being Utopians. But experience has shown 
that while we cannot always and in all cases rely on action 
by the proletariat, at any rate we may say that during these 
two years of the world's history we have been proved correct 
a thousand times. The attempt by the British and French to 
crush Soviet Russia with their own troops, an attempt that 
promised them certain and very easy success in a minimum 
of time, ended in failure: the British troops have left Archan- 
gel, and the French troops that had landed in the South 
have all been sent home. Despite the blockade, despite the 
ring drawn around us, news does reach us from Western 
Europe, we do get British and French newspapers, even if 
only sporadically, from which we learn that letters sent by 
British soldiers from Archangel Region have somehow 
reached Britain and been published there. We know that the 
name of the Frenchwoman, Comrade Jeanne Labourbe, who 
engaged in communist activity among French soldiers and 
workers and was shot in Odessa, became known to the entire 
French proletariat and became a battle-cry, a name around 
which all French workers united for action against interna- 
tional imperialism despite the apparently insurmountable 
factional trends of syndicalism. The words of Comrade Ra- 
dek, who fortunately, as today's reports state, has been libe- 
rated by Germany and whom we shall perhaps see soon, 
that the soil of Russia, aflame with the fire of revolution, 
would prove inaccessible to the Entente troops — these words, 
which seemed to be just a writer's flight of fancy, were ac- 
tually realised. Despite all our backwardness, despite all 
the burden of our struggle, the troops of Britain and France 



proved incapable of fighting us on our own soil. The result 
was a victory for us. The first time that they tried to send 
massive military forces against us — and without them vic- 
tory is impossible — the only result was that, thanks to their 
correct class instinct, the French and British soldiers brought 
home from Russia the very ulcer of Bolshevism that the 
German imperialists were fighting when they expelled our 
envoys from Berlin. 69 They thought they would protect 
themselves in this way against the ulcer of Bolshevism, which 
now spreads over the whole of Germany in the shape of a 
strengthened labour movement. The victory we won in com- 
pelling the evacuation of the British and French troops was 
the greatest of our victories over the Entente countries. We 
deprived them of their soldiers. Our response to the unlimit- 
ed military and technical superiority of the Entente coun- 
tries was to deprive them of it through the solidarity of the 
working people against the imperialist governments. 

This revealed how superficial and uncertain it is to judge 
these so-called democratic countries by accepted criteria. 
Their parliaments have stable bourgeois majorities. This they 
call "democracy". Capital dominates and weighs down every- 
thing and they still resort to military censorship. And they 
call that "democracy". Among the millions of copies of their 
newspapers and magazines you would be hard put to find 
any but an insignificant few that contain even a hint of 
anything favourable about the Bolsheviks. That is why 
they say: "We are protected against the Bolsheviks, there 
is order in our countries", and they call it "democracy". 
How could it happen that a small section of British soldiers 
and French sailors were able to compel the withdrawal of 
the Entente troops from Russia? There is something wrong 
here. It means that even in Britain, France and America 
the mass of the people are for us; it means that all these 
external features, as socialists who refuse to betray socialism 
have always asserted, are a deception; it means that the bour- 
geois parliamentary system, bourgeois democracy, bourgeois 
freedom of the press are merely freedom for the capitalists, 
freedom to bribe public opinion, to exert pressure on it by 
all the power of money. That is what socialists always said 
until the imperialist war scattered them to their national 
camps and turned each national group of socialists into 



lackeys of their own bourgeoisie. That was said by social- 
ists before the war, that was always said by the interna- 
tionalists and Bolsheviks during the war — and it all proved 
to be absolutely correct. All the external features, all the 
window-dressings, are a fraud; and this is becoming increas- 
ingly obvious to the people. They all shout about democracy, 
but in no parliament in the world did they dare to say that 
they were declaring war on Soviet Russia. That is why we 
read in the numerous French, British and American publi- 
cations now available the proposal to "place the heads of 
state in the dock for having violated the Constitution, for 
waging war on Russia without declaring war". When and 
where was it sanctioned, what article of the Constitution, 
what parliament sanctioned it? Where did they gather their 
parliamentary representatives together, even after taking 
the precaution to imprison all Bolsheviks and near-Bolshe- 
viks, to use the expression of the French press? Even under 
those conditions they did not dare to state in their parlia- 
ments that they were fighting Russia. That was why the 
splendidly armed, previously undefeated troops of Britain 
and France were unable to defeat us and departed from 
Archangel Region in the North, and from the South. 

That was our first and chief victory, because it was not 
only a military victory, it was not really a military victory 
at all — it was actually a victory of that international soli- 
darity of the working people for which we began the whole 
revolution, and which we pointed to and said that, however 
numerous the trials we would have to undergo, all these 
sacrifices would be repaid a hundredfold by the develop- 
ment of the world revolution, which is inevitable. It was 
apparent from the fact that in the sphere where the grossest 
material factors play the greatest part, namely, in the milita- 
ry sphere, we defeated the Entente countries by depriving 
them of the workers and peasants in soldiers' uniforms. 

The first victory was followed by the second period of 
Entente intervention in our affairs. Each nation is headed 
by a group of politicians who possess wonderful experience, 
and that is why, after losing this stake, they placed another, 
taking advantage of their dominant position in the world. 
There is not a single country, not a single bit of the earth's 
surface, which is not in fact totally dominated by British, 



French and American finance capital. That was the basis 
for the new attempt they made, namely, to compel the small 
countries surrounding Russia, many of which had been libe- 
rated and had been able to declare themselves independent 
only during the war — Poland, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, 
the Ukraine, etc. — to compel these small states to go to war 
against Russia on British, French and American money. 

You may remember, comrades, that our newspapers report- 
ed a speech by Churchill, the well-known British Cabinet 
Minister, in which he said that 14 states would attack Rus- 
sia and that September would see the fall of Petrograd, and 
December that of Moscow. I heard that Churchill then dis- 
claimed this report, but it was taken from the Swedish 
Folkets Dagblad — Politiken of August 25. But even if this 
source proved unreliable we know full well that Churchill 
and the British imperialists acted precisely in this way. We 
are perfectly well aware that everything was done to exert 
pressure on Finland, Estonia and other small countries, in 
order to persuade them to wage war on Soviet Russia. I hap- 
pened to read a leading article in The Times, the most in- 
fluential bourgeois newspaper in Britain, a leader written 
when Yudenich's troops, obviously supplied, equipped 
and conveyed on board Entente transports, were a few versts 
from Petrograd, and Detskoye Selo had been taken. The 
article was a veritable onslaught, in which the maximum 
pressure was exerted — military, diplomatic and historical. 
British capital flung itself on Finland and faced her with 
an ultimatum: The eyes of the whole world are on Finland, 
said the British capitalists, the entire fate of Finland de- 
pends on whether she understands her role, whether she will 
help to crush the filthy, dirty, bloody wave of Bolshevism 
and liberate Russia. And in return for this "great and mo- 
ral" work, for this "noble, civilised" work, Finland was prom- 
ised so many million pounds, such-and-such a piece of 
territory, and such-and-such benefits. And what was the 
result? There was a time when Yudenich's troops were a 
few versts away from Petrograd, when Denikin stood to 
the north of Orel, when the slightest assistance to them would 
have quickly settled the fate of Petrograd to the advantage 
of our enemies, in a minimum of time and at negligible 



The entire pressure of the Entente countries was brought 
to bear on Finland, a country that is up to its neck in debt 
to them. And not only in debt: Finland cannot carry on 
for one month without the aid of these countries. But how 
did the "miracle" of our having won the battle against such 
an enemy happen? And win it we did. Finland did not enter 
the war, Yudenich was defeated, so was Denikin, and that 
at a time when joint action by them would most surely, most 
swiftly have settled the whole struggle to the advantage of 
international capitalism. We won the battle with interna- 
tional imperialism in this most serious and desperate trial 
of strength. But how did we do it? How could such a 
"miracle" have taken place? It took place because the Entente 
backed the same card as all capitalist states, which operate 
wholly and solely by deception and pressure; that was why 
everything they did aroused such resistance that the result 
was to our advantage. We were very poorly armed, worn 
out, and we said to the Finnish workers, whom the Finnish 
bourgeoisie had crushed, "You must not fight against us." 
The Entente countries appeared strong in their armaments, 
with all their outward might, with the food they were in a 
position to supply to these countries, and demanded that 
they fight against us. We won this battle. We won because 
the Entente countries had no troops of their own to fling 
against us, they had to resort to the forces of the small na- 
tions, but here, not only the workers and peasants, but even 
the considerable section of that very bourgeoisie that had 
crushed the working class did not in the end go against us. 

When the Entente imperialists spoke of democracy and 
independence, these nations had the impudence from the 
Entente viewpoint, and foolishness from our viewpoint, 
to take these promises seriously and to understand indepen- 
dence as really implying independence, and not a means of 
enriching the British and French capitalists. They thought 
that democracy meant living as free men, and not that all 
American multimillionaires would be able to plunder their 
country, or that every tinpot aristocrat of an officer should 
be able to behave like a swine and turn into a brazen black- 
marketeer prepared, for the sake of a few hundred per cent 
profit, to do the filthiest of jobs. That was how we won! 
The Entente encountered opposition to its pressure on these 



small countries, on each of these 14 countries. The Finnish 
bourgeoisie who employed White Terror to crush tens of 
thousands of Finnish workers know that this will not be 
forgotten, and that the German bayonets that made it pos- 
sible no longer exist — these Finnish bourgeois hate the Bol- 
sheviks as intensely as an exploiter would hate the workers 
who kicked him out. Nevertheless the Finnish bourgeoisie 
said to themselves, "If we follow the instructions of the 
Entente, that means we shall undoubtedly lose all hope of 
independence." And this independence was given to them by 
the Bolsheviks in November 1917, when Finland had a 
bourgeois government. The attitude of wide sections of the 
Finnish bourgeoisie, therefore, proved to be one of vacilla- 
tion. We won the battle with the Entente countries because 
they counted on the small nations and at the same time 
repelled them. 

This experience confirms, on an enormous, global scale, 
what we have always said. There are two forces on earth 
that can decide the destiny of mankind. One force is inter- 
national capitalism, and should it be victorious it will 
display this force in countless atrocities as may be seen 
from the history of every small nation's development. The 
other force is the international proletariat that is fighting 
for the socialist revolution through the dictatorship of the 
proletariat, which it calls workers' democracy. Neither the 
vacillating elements here in Russia, nor the bourgeoisie of 
the small countries believed us; they called us Utopians or 
bandits or even worse, for there is no stupid and monstrous 
accusation that they will not fling at us. But when they 
faced up squarely to the issue of either going with the Entente 
countries and helping them to crush the Bolsheviks, or 
of helping the Bolsheviks by neutrality, we proved to have 
won the battle and to have got that neutrality. We had no 
treaties, whereas Britain, France and America had all sorts 
of promissory notes, all sorts of treaties; nevertheless the 
small nations did as we wanted them to; they did so not 
because the Polish, Finnish, Lithuanian or Latvian bour- 
geoisie derived satisfaction from conducting their policy in a 
way that suited the Bolsheviks — that, of course, is nonsense — 
but because our definition of the historical forces involved 
was correct, namely, that either brute capital would be 



victorious, and then, even if it were in the most democratic 
republic, it would crush all the small nations of the world — 
or the dictatorship of the proletariat would be victorious, 
which is the sole hope of all working people and of the small, 
downtrodden and weak nations. It turned out that we were 
right not only in theory, but also in practical world politics. 
When this battle for the troops of Finland and Estonia took 
place we won it, although they could have crushed us with 
insignificant forces. We won the battle despite the Entente 
countries having thrown the enormous weight of their finan- 
cial pressure, their military might, and their food supplies 
into the fray in order to compel Finland to take action. 

That, comrades, was the second stage of international 
intervention, our second historic victory. First, we won 
the workers and peasants away from Britain, France and 
America. These troops could not fight against us. Secondly, 
we won away from them these small countries, all of which 
are against us, and in which not Soviet, but bourgeois rule 
dominates. They displayed friendly neutrality towards us 
and acted contrary to the desires of that mighty world force, 
the Entente, for it was a beast that wanted to crush them. 

We witness here on a world scale the same thing that 
happened to the Siberian peasants, who believed in the Con- 
stituent Assembly and helped the Socialist-Revolutionaries 
and Mensheviks to join forces with Kolchak and to strike at 
us. When they learned to their own cost that Kolchak repre- 
sented the dictatorship of the very worst exploiters, a plun- 
derous dictatorship of landowners and capitalists which was 
worse than that of the tsar, they organised the tremendous 
number of revolts in Siberia about which comrades have 
given us reliable information, and which now guarantee the 
complete return to us of Siberia, this time politically con- 
scious. What happened to the Siberian peasant, with all his 
backwardness and political ignorance, has now happened 
on a broader scale, on a world scale, to all the small nations. 
They hated the Bolsheviks; some of them had suppressed the 
Bolsheviks with a bloody hand, with furious White Terror, 
but when they saw their "liberators", the British officers, 
they understood the meaning of British and American "democ- 
racy". When representatives of the British and American 
bourgeoisie appeared in Finland and Estonia, the acts of 



suppression they began were more brazen than those of the 
Russian imperialists had been, because the Russian imperial- 
ists had belonged to an older period and did not know how 
to suppress properly, whereas these people do know, and go 
about it thoroughly. 

That is why this victory at the second stage is a far more 
lasting one than is apparent at the moment. I am not exag- 
gerating at all, and consider exaggerations to be extremely 
dangerous. I have not the slightest doubt that further attempts 
will be made by the Entente to set against us now one, now 
another of the small states that are our neighbours. Such 
attempts will occur because the small states are wholly de- 
pendent on the Entente, because all this talk about freedom, 
independence and democracy is sheer hypocrisy, and the 
Entente may compel them once again to raise their hand 
against us. But if this attempt was foiled at such a convenient 
moment when it was so easy to wage a struggle against us, 
we may, I think, say definitely that in this respect the main 
difficulty is undoubtedly behind us. We are entitled to say 
this, and to say it without the slightest exaggeration, fully 
conscious that the Entente countries possess a tremendous 
advantage in strength. We have won a lasting victory. At- 
tempts will be made against us, but we shall defeat them with 
greater ease, because the small states, despite their bourgeois 
system, have become convinced by experience, not theory — 
these gentlemen are theory-proof — that the Entente is a 
more brazen and predatory brute than the one they have in 
their minds when they think of the Bolsheviks, the bogey 
used to scare children and cultured philistines all over 

But our victories were not limited to this. In the first 
place we won over to our side the workers and peasants of 
the Entente countries; secondly, we gained the neutrality 
of the small nations under the Entente's domination and, 
thirdly, we began to win over, within the Entente countries, 
the petty bourgeoisie and educated townsfolk who had been 
completely opposed to us. To prove this I will quote the 
newspaper I'Humanite of October 26 which I have here. This 
newspaper has always belonged to the Second International, 
was rabidly chauvinistic during the war, adhered to the view- 
point of socialists similar to our Mensheviks and Right 



Socialist-Revolutionaries, and still plays the role of a concil- 
iator; it now announces that it has become convinced of a 
change in mood among the workers. The paper did not see 
this in Odessa but on the streets and at meetings in Paris, 
when the workers stopped everyone who dared say a word 
against Bolshevik Russia. As politicians who have learned a 
fair amount during the course of several revolutions, as per- 
sons who understand what sort of force the people are, they 
dare not say a word in favour of intervention, and are all 
speaking against it. Moreover, it is not only the socialists 
who say this (they call themselves socialists, but for a long 
time we have been aware what sort of socialists they are); 
the same issue of I'Humanite of October 26, which I quoted, 
contains a statement by a large number of French intel- 
lectuals, representative of French public opinion. The signa- 
tories to this statement are headed by Anatole France and 
include Ferdinand Buisson; altogether I counted the names 
of 71 bourgeois intellectuals famed throughout France, who 
state that they are against intervention in Russia's affairs, 
because the blockade of Russia, the attempt to starve her 
out from which children and the aged are perishing, cannot 
be tolerated — it is incompatible with culture and civilisa- 
tion. The well-known French historian Aulard, who supports 
the bourgeois point of view in full, writes in his letter, "As 
a Frenchman I am an enemy of the Bolsheviks, as a French- 
man I support democracy, it is ridiculous to suspect me of the 
contrary, but when I read that France has invited Germany 
to participate in the blockade of Russia, when I read that 
France has approached Germany with this proposal — then 
I feel myself blushing with shame." It may be that this is 
just an expression of an intellectual's feelings but we are 
justified in saying that this is our third victory, a victory 
over imperialist France within the country itself. Such is 
the implication of this statement, feeble and pathetic as it 
is, the statement of intellectuals whose bark, as we know 
from hundreds of examples, is far worse than their bite, 
but who serve as a good barometer, an indicator of the trend 
developing amongst the petty bourgeoisie, of the way in 
which public opinion is reacting, permeated as it is with 
bourgeois sentiment. If we have achieved such results within 
France herself, where all the bourgeois papers write about 



us only in the most lying terms, then we say to ourselves: 
it looks as if a second Dreyfus case™ is beginning in France, 
only on a much larger scale. At that time the bourgeois 
intellectuals fought against clerical and military reactionaries, 
while the working class could not consider it their business, 
as the objective conditions were absent, the deep revolu- 
tionary feeling of today did not then exist. And now? If, 
after the recent electoral victory of the most rabid reaction- 
aries and in the face of a regime hostile to the Bolsheviks, 
the French bourgeois intellectuals say that they are ashamed 
of the alliance between reactionary France and reactionary 
Germany for the purpose of starving out the workers and peas- 
ants of Russia, then we can say to ourselves that this is 
the third and greatest of our victories. And I should like 
to see how, with this situation within the country, Clemen- 
ceau, Lloyd George and Wilson will carry out the plan of 
fresh attacks on Russia they dream of. Just try it, gentle- 
men! (Applause.) 

Comrades, I repeat that it would be a great mistake 
to jump to hasty conclusions because of all this. There can 
be no doubt that the imperialists will resume their attempts, 
but we are absolutely confident that these attempts, no 
matter by what powerful forces they may be undertaken, will 
end in failure. We can say that the Civil War which we con- 
ducted with such tremendous sacrifices has ended in victory. 
It has been victorious, not only on a Russian scale, but on 
a world-historical scale. Every argument I have presented 
to you has been based on the results of the military campaign. 
That is why, I repeat, new attempts are doomed to failure 
because the imperialists have become much weaker and we 
have become much stronger after our victory over Kolchak, 
over Yudenich, and when there are signs that the victory 
over Denikin, now in its early stages, is imminent. Did not 
Kolchak have the aid of the all-powerful Entente? Did not 
the peasants of the Urals and Siberia, who returned the 
smallest number of Bolsheviks to the Constituent Assembly, 
solidly support the Constituent Assembly front, which at that 
time was the front of the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolu- 
tionaries? Were not they the best human material against 
the Communists? Is it not a fact that Siberia was a country 
with no landed estates and where we were not immediately 



able to assist the mass of peasants in the same way as we were 
able to help all other Russian peasants? What did Kolchak 
lack to defeat us? He lacked what all imperialists lack. He 
remained an exploiter and had to act in the backwash of a 
world war, in circumstances in which he could only babble 
about democracy and freedom, but which made possible 
one of two dictatorships — either the dictatorship of the 
exploiters which frenziedly defends their privileges and insists 
on payment of interest on the bills, whereby they wish to 
squeeze millions out of all peoples, or the dictatorship of the 
workers which fights the power of the capitalists and wishes 
to establish firmly the power of the working people. It was 
only because of this that Kolchak came to grief. It was in 
this way — not by voting, which is, of course, in certain cir- 
cumstances not a bad way — that the Siberian and Ural peas- 
ants actually determined their destiny. In the summer of 
1918 they were dissatisfied with the Bolsheviks. They saw 
that the Bolsheviks forced them to sell their surplus grain 
at a non-speculative price and so they turned to Kolchak. 
Now the peasant has seen, compared and arrived at a differ- 
ent conclusion. Despite all he was taught in the past, he has 
understood, because he has learned from his own experience 
what many Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks do not 
want to understand from theory {applause) — that there must 
be one of two dictatorships, that he must choose either the 
dictatorship of the workers — and this means to assist all work- 
ing people to throw off the yoke of the exploiters — or the 
dictatorship of the exploiters. We have won the peasants to 
our side, we have proved in practice through the most bitter 
experience, through unprecedented difficulties that we, as 
representatives of the working class, can give the peasants 
better and more successful leadership than any other party. 
Other parties like to accuse us of carrying on a struggle 
against the peasants, of being unable to arrive at a proper 
agreement with them, and they all offer their kind and noble 
services to reconcile us with the peasants. We are most 
grateful to you, gentlemen, but we do not think that you 
will manage it. We, at any rate, showed long ago that we 
were able to do this. We did not paint the peasant rosy 
pictures that told him he would be able to make the transi- 
tion from capitalist society without iron discipline and 



the firm rule of the working class; or that merely gathering 
votes would decide the world-historical problem of the 
struggle against capital. We said openly that dictatorship 
is a harsh, severe and even bloody word, but we said that 
the dictatorship of the workers will ensure the end of the 
yoke of the exploiters, and we proved to be correct. The 
peasant, having experienced both dictatorships, chose the 
dictatorship of the working class, and will go forward with 
it to complete victory. (Applause.) 

Comrades, from what I have said about our international 
successes it follows — and, I think, it is not necessary to 
dwell at length on this — that we must repeat our peace 
proposal in a manner that is calm and business-like to the 
maximum degree. We must do this because it is a proposal we 
have made many times, and each time we gained something 
in the eyes of every educated man, even if he was our enemy, 
that made him blush with shame. That was the case when 
Bullitt came here, was received by Comrade Chicherin, 
talked with him and with me, and when we concluded a pre- 
liminary agreement on peace in the course of a few hours. 
And he assured us (those gentlemen like to boast) that Amer- 
ica is everything, and who would worry about France in 
face of America's strength? But when we signed the agree- 
ment the French and British ministers did this. (Lenin 
makes an expressive gesture with his foot. Laughter.) Bullitt 
was left with a useless piece of paper and he was told, "Who 
would have thought you were naive and foolish enough to 
believe in the democracy of Britain and France?" (Applause.) 
The result is that in the same issue I read the full text 
of the agreement with Bullitt in French 71 — and it was pub- 
lished in all the British and American newspapers. The result 
is that they are showing themselves to the whole world to 
be either rogues or infants — let them take their choice! 
(Applause.) All the sympathies even of the petty bourgeoi- 
sie, even of those bourgeois who have any sort of an educa- 
tion and who recall how they once fought their own tsars 
and kings, are on our side, because we signed the hardest 
possible peace terms in a business-like manner and said, 
"The price of the blood of our workers and soldiers is too high 
for us; we shall pay you businessmen a heavy tribute as the 
price of peace; we consent to a heavy tribute to preserve the 



lives of our workers and peasants." That is why I think there 
is no reason for us to dwell long on this, and in conclusion 
I shall read a draft resolution that will express, in the name 
of the Congress of Soviets, our unwavering desire to pursue 
a policy of peace. (Applause.) 

Now I wish to pass from the international and military 
to the political section of the report. 

We have gained three tremendous victories over the 
Entente, and they were not only military victories. They were 
victories achieved by the dictatorship of the working class, 
and each victory strengthened our position, and not only be- 
cause it weakened our enemy and lost him his troops; our 
international position was strengthened because on each 
occasion we won out in the eyes of all working people and 
even of many bourgeois. In this connection, the victories 
which we won over Kolchak and Yudenich, and are now 
winning over Denikin, will make it possible in the future to 
gain much greater sympathy by peaceful means. 

We have always been accused of terrorism. This is a fa- 
vourite accusation that is never absent from the columns 
of the press. We are accused of making terrorism a principle. 
To this we reply, "You yourselves do not believe this slan- 
der." The historian Aulard, who sent a letter to I'Humanite, 
writes, "I have studied history and taught it. When I read 
that the Bolsheviks are freaks, monsters and scarecrows, 
I say that the same things were written about Robespierre 
and Danton. By no means do I compare these great men to 
the present Russians, nothing of the sort, there is absolutely 
no resemblance between them. But I say as a historian that 
you must not believe every rumour." When a bourgeois his- 
torian begins speaking in this way we see that the lie being 
spread about us is fizzling out. We say that terror was 
thrust upon us. They forget that terror was provoked by 
the attack of the all-powerful Entente. Is it not terror for 
the world's fleet to blockade a starving country? Is it not 
terror for foreign representatives, relying on their so-called 
diplomatic immunity, to organise whiteguard insurrection? 
You must, after all, take something of a sober view of things. 
It must be realised that international imperialism has staked 
everything on suppressing the revolution, that it stops at 
nothing, and says, "For one officer — one Communist, and we 



shall will." And they are right. If we had attempted to in- 
fluence these troops, brought into being by international 
banditry and brutalised by war — if we had attempted to 
influence them by words and persuasion or by any means other 
than terror, we would not have held out for even two months 
and we would have been fools. The terror was forced on us 
by the terror of the Entente, the terror of mighty world 
capitalism which has been throttling the workers and peas- 
ants, and is condemning them to death by starvation because 
they are fighting for their country's freedom. Our every 
victory over this prime cause of and reason for the terror 
will inevitably and invariably mean that we shall be able 
to run the country without this method of persuasion and 

What we say about terrorism also applies to our attitude 
towards all waverers. We are accused of having created extra- 
ordinarily difficult conditions for the middle sections of 
the population, for the bourgeois intellectuals. We reply 
that the imperialist war was a continuation of the imperial- 
ist politics and for this reason it led to revolution. During 
the imperialist war everyone felt that the war was being 
conducted by the bourgeoisie in their own selfish interests, 
that in this war the people died while the bourgeoisie profit- 
ed. Profit is the basic motive behind the policy of the bour- 
geoisie in all countries, and it is ruining them and will seal 
their fate. Our war is the continuation of the politics of 
revolution, and every worker and peasant knows (and if he 
does not know, then he instinctively feels and sees) that this 
is a war of defence against the exploiters, a war demanding 
the greatest sacrifices from the workers and peasants, but 
which stops at nothing in order to ensure that these sacrifices 
are also borne by the other classes. We know that it is more 
difficult for them than it is for the workers and peasants, 
because they formerly belonged to a privileged class. But we 
say that when it is a case of freeing millions of working people 
from exploitation, a government that did not make other 
classes bear the burden would not be a socialist government 
but a traitor government. We have burdened the middle 
classes because we have been placed in extraordinarily dif- 
ficult conditions by the Entente governments. Every step 
in our victories — as we see it from the experience of our 



revolution, though I cannot deal with this in detail — is char- 
acterised by the fact that through all the waverings and 
innumerable attempts to return to the past, more and more 
waverers are becoming convinced that the only real choice 
is between the dictatorship of the working people and the 
rule of the exploiters. If these waverers have had a hard 
time, it is not the fault of the Bolshevik government, but the 
fault of the whiteguards, the fault of the Entente; a victory 
over them will be a real and sound condition for improving 
the lot of all these classes. In this connection, comrades, 
I should like, in passing on to the lessons of the political 
experience inside the country, to say a few words about the 
significance of the war. 

Our war is the continuation of the politics of revolution, 
the politics of overthrowing the exploiters, capitalists and 
landowners. The workers and peasants are therefore drawn 
to our side despite the infinite gravity of our war. War is 
not only a continuation of politics, it is the epitome of po- 
litics; this unprecedentedly difficult war which the landown- 
ers and capitalists have brought down on us with the aid 
of the mighty Entente is political education. The workers 
and peasants have learned a great deal during this ordeal. 
The workers have learned how to use state power, and how to 
utilise every step for propaganda and education, how to 
make the Red Army, consisting mainly of peasants, an instru- 
ment for their education, how to make it an instrument for 
the employment of bourgeois specialists. We know that in 
their overwhelming majority these bourgeois specialists are, 
and must be, against us because of their class character; we 
need have no doubts on this score. Hundreds and thousands of 
these specialists have betrayed us, and tells of thousands 
have come to serve us more faithfully, drawn to us in the 
course of the struggle itself because that revolutionary 
enthusiasm which did wonders in the Red Army came from 
our having served and satisfied the interests of the workers 
and peasants. This situation, in which masses of workers 
and peasants act in harmony and know what they are fight- 
ing for, has had its effect, and still larger and larger sections 
of the people who came over to our side from the other camp, 
some of them unknowingly, have turned and are turning into 
our conscious supporters. 



Comrades, the task which now confronts us is to transfer 
our war-time experience to the sphere of peaceful construc- 
tion. There is nothing which gives us so much pleasure or 
provides us with such an opportunity of greeting the Seventh 
All-Russia Congress of Soviets as the turning-point in the 
history of Soviet Russia, as the fact that the main period of 
the civil wars we have been fighting lies behind us, and that 
ahead of us lies the main period of peaceful construction 
which means so much to all of us, which we desire, which we 
must carry out and to which we shall dedicate all our ener- 
gies and our whole lives. We can now say, on the basis of 
the severe ordeals of the war, that in the main, in the mili- 
tary and in the international sphere, we have been victorious. 
The path of peaceful construction opens up before us. We 
have, of course, to remember that the enemy is always watch- 
ing every step we take and will make many more attempts 
to overthrow us by all the means in his power — force, 
fraud, bribery, conspiracies, etc. Our task is to direct all 
the experience gained in war towards the solution of the 
main problems of peaceful construction which I shall now 
enumerate. First and foremost there is the question of food 
supplies, the question of grain. 

We have pursued a most difficult struggle against prejudices 
and old customs. On the one hand, the peasant is a work- 
ing man, who for decades suffered the oppression of the 
landowner and the capitalist; with the instinct of the op- 
pressed man he knows that they are beasts who will walk 
through seas of blood to regain their power. On the other 
hand, the peasant is a proprietor. He wants to sell his 
grain freely, he wants "freedom of trade", he does not under- 
stand that the free sale of grain in a starving country means 
freedom to profiteer, freedom for the rich to make profits. 
And we say that we shall never agree to this, all of us would 
sooner die than make this concession. 

We know that in this case we conduct a policy whereby 
the workers persuade the peasants to loan them grain, because 
the piece of paper the peasants receive in return is not the 
equivalent of the grain's value. The peasant sells us grain 
at fixed prices but does not receive goods in return because 
we have none; instead he receives a piece of coloured paper. 
He is giving us the grain as a loan and we say to him "If 



you are a working man, can you deny that this is fair? 
How can you not agree that it is essential to loan the existing 
grain surpluses at fixed prices and not to dispose of them by 
profiteering, which means a return to capitalism, a return 
to exploitation, to all that we have fought against?" It was 
extremely difficult to do this, and we hesitated a good deal. 
We have taken many steps gropingly and continue to do so 
but we have gained some fundamental experience. When 
you hear the report of Comrade Tsyurupa or of others con- 
cerned with food supplies you will see that when the govern- 
ment says to the peasants they must loan their grain they 
are becoming accustomed to this system of requisitioning, 
for we have information from a number of volosts of its 100 
per cent fulfilment. Although the successes are meagre, they 
are nevertheless successes, and our food supply policy enables 
the peasants to understand more and more clearly — if you 
want free sale of grain in a ruined country, go back, try 
out Kolchak and Denikin! We shall fight against this to the 
last drop of blood. There can be no concessions in this mat- 
ter. On this fundamental question, the question of grain, we 
shall fight with all our might to prevent profiteering, to 
ensure that the sale of grain does not enrich the already rich, 
and that all grain surpluses raised on state land by the efforts 
of generations of working people become the property of the 
state and that now, when the state is impoverished, these 
surpluses should be loaned by the peasants to the workers' 
state. If the peasant does this, we shall emerge from all 
our difficulties, we shall rehabilitate industry, and the 
worker will repay his debt to the peasant a hundredfold. 
He, the worker, will guarantee the peasant and his children 
a livelihood without their having to work for the landowner 
and the capitalist. That is what we tell the peasant, and 
he is becoming convinced there is no alternative. The peas- 
ant is being convinced of this, not so much by us, as by our 
enemies, Kolchak and Denikin. They, more than anybody 
else, are giving the peasant practical lessons in living and 
sending him to our side. 

However, comrades, after the problem of grain comes the 
second question — that of fuel. At the moment sufficient 
stocks of grain have been collected in the grain-growing 
regions to feed the starving workers of Petrograd and Moscow. 



But if you walk through the workers' districts of Moscow 
you will find them in the grip of the most frightful cold, 
terrible privations intensified by the fuel problem. Here 
we are suffering from a desperate crisis, we are lagging behind 
requirements. Recently a number of meetings of the Council 
of Defence and the Council of People's Commissars were 
devoted entirely to the elaboration of measures to solve the 
fuel crisis. Comrade Ksandrov has supplied me with figures 
for my speech which show that we have begun to emerge 
from this desperate crisis. At the beginning of October 
16,000 railway trucks were loaded in a week; by the end of 
October this figure had dropped to 10,000 a week. This 
was a crisis, a catastrophe; it meant hunger for the workers 
of a whole number of factories in Moscow, Petrograd and many 
other places. The results of this catastrophe are still being 
felt. And then we came to grips with the problem, bent all 
our energies on solving it, and did the same as we had done 
in military matters. We said that all politically-conscious 
people must throw their full weight into solving the fuel 
problem, not in the old, capitalist way, when the profiteers 
were given a bonus and enriched themselves on contracts — 
no, we said, solve this problem in a socialist way, by self- 
sacrifice; solve this problem in the same way as we saved Red 
Petrograd, liberated Siberia, the way we gained victory in 
all those difficult moments, in the face of all the difficult 
problems of the revolution, the way that will always bring 
us victory. We have advanced from loading 12,000 trucks 
in the last week of October and now load 20,000. We are 
emerging from this catastrophe, but we are far from having 
solved the problem. It is essential that all workers know 
and bear in mind that without bread for the people, without 
bread for industry, that is, without fuel, the country is 
doomed to calamity. And this applies not only to us. Today's 
newspapers carry the news that in France, a victor country, 
the railways are grinding to a halt. What can you expect of 
Russia? France will crawl out of the crisis the capitalist 
way, that is, through the enrichment of the capitalists and 
the continued deprivation of the people. Soviet Russia will 
emerge from the crisis through the discipline and devotion 
of the workers, through a firm attitude towards the peasants, 
that firm attitude which, in the final analysis, the peasant 



can always understand. The peasant is learning from experi- 
ence that no matter how difficult the transition, no matter 
how firm the state rule of the workers, it is the rule of the 
working man who is fighting for the alliance of the working 
people, for the complete abolition of all exploitation. 

A third scourge is assailing us, lice, and the typhus that 
is mowing down our troops. Comrades, it is impossible to 
imagine the dreadful situation in the typhus regions, where 
the population is broken, weakened, without material re- 
sources, where all life, all public life ceases. To this we say, 
"Comrades, we must concentrate everything on this prob- 
lem. Either the lice will defeat socialism, or socialism will 
defeat the lice!" And here too, comrades, by using the same 
methods as elsewhere, we are beginning to achieve success. 
There are still some doctors, of course, who hold preconceived 
notions and have no faith in workers' rule, who prefer 
to draw fees from the rich rather than fight the hard battle 
against typhus. But these are a minority, they are becoming 
fewer, and the majority see that the people are struggling 
for their very existence, they realise that by their struggle 
the people desire to solve the fundamental question of pre- 
serving civilisation. These doctors are behaving in this 
arduous and difficult matter with no less devotion than the 
military specialists. They are willing to put themselves at 
the service of the working people. I must say that we are 
beginning to emerge also from this crisis. Comrade Semashko 
has given me some information about this work. According 
to news from the front, 122 doctors and 467 assistants had 
arrived at the front by October 1. One hundred and fifty 
doctors have been sent from Moscow. We have reason to 
believe that by December 15 another 800 doctors will have 
arrived at the front to help in the battle against typhus. We 
must pay great attention to this affliction. 

We must concentrate on consolidating our foundation — 
grain, fuel, and the battle against typhus. I particularly 
wish to mention these matters because a certain lack of 
co-ordination has been noted in our socialist construction, 
and understandably so. When people have decided to trans- 
form the whole world, it is only natural that inexperienced 
workers and inexperienced peasants should be drawn into 
this work. There can be no doubt that a considerable period 



must elapse before we are able to determine where our chief 
attention should be concentrated. It is not surprising that 
such great historical tasks frequently give rise to great 
visions, which develop side by side with many small, un- 
successful dreams. There have been many instances when 
we wanted to build a house from above, starting from a small 
upper wing, a cornice, but paid no real attention to the foun- 
dations. I must tell you that from my own experience, from 
my observations of the work being performed, it is my opinion 
that the essential task for our policy is to lay that foundation. 
It is necessary for every worker, every organisation, every 
institution to bear this in mind at every meeting. If we are 
able to supply grain, if we succeed in increasing the fuel 
supply, if we devote all our efforts to wiping out typhus in 
Russia — the typhus which comes from a lack of culture, from 
poverty, backwardness and ignorance — if we devote to this 
bloodless war all the strength and experience gained in 
a bloody war we can be certain that we shall achieve ever 
greater successes in this work, which is, after all, much easier 
and much more humane than a war. 

We have carried out military mobilisation. The parties 
which were our most uncompromising opponents, which to 
a far greater extent than others supported and still support 
the ideas of capitalism (the Socialist-Revolutionaries, for 
instance), have had to recognise, despite all the accusations 
rained on us by the bourgeois imperialists, that the Red 
Army has become a people's army. This indicates that in 
this most difficult task we have achieved the alliance of 
the working class with the great mass of peasants who are 
coming over to the side of the working class, and we have, 
by this means, shown the peasants what is meant by the 
leadership of the working class. 

The words "dictatorship of the proletariat" frighten the 
peasants. In Russia it was a bogey for the peasants but these 
words now recoil on the heads of people who try to use them 
as a bogey. The peasants now realise that, while the words 
"dictatorship of the proletariat" are perhaps too fancy Latin 
words, in practice they stand for that selfsame Soviet power 
which transfers the stale apparatus to the workers. This 
being the case, the dictatorship is the true friend and ally 
of the working people and the merciless enemy of any form 



of exploitation. That is why we shall ultimately defeat all 
imperialists, for we possess a profound source of strength, 
a deep and extensive reservoir of human material, such as 
has never been accessible to any bourgeois government and 
never will be. We possess the material from which we can 
draw ever greater and more profound strength starting from 
the most advanced workers and continuing with average 
workers, and even lower down the scale, with labouring peas- 
ants, poor and greatly impoverished peasants. The Petro- 
grad comrades have recently said that Petrograd has given 
up all its workers and can supply no more. But when a criti- 
cal hour struck, Petrograd showed itself to be remarkable, 
as Comrade Zinoviev justly said, it proved to be a town 
that seemed able to give birth to new forces. Workers, who 
had no experience in politics or government, who were con- 
sidered below the average in political consciousness, drew 
themselves up to their full stature, provided the huge forces 
for propaganda, agitation, organisation, and performed new 
miracles. We still have a great deal of this source of new 
miracles. Every new section of workers and peasants that has 
not yet been drawn into our work is, nevertheless, our true 
friend and ally. At the present moment we frequently have 
to rely on a very small section of leading workers in govern- 
ment work. In the course of our Party work and our Soviet 
practice we must approach non-party people, non-party work- 
ers and peasants, more boldly, approach them again and 
again, not for the purpose of winning them over to our side 
immediately, or of drawing them into the Party — that is 
not so important for us — but of making them understand 
that their help is needed to save the country. When those 
whom the landowners and capitalists least of all permitted 
to participate in running the state are brought to realise 
that we are calling on them to join us in building the solid 
foundation for the Socialist Republic our cause will be really 

That is why, on the basis of two years' experience, we 
can say to you with absolute certainty that every one of our 
military victories will greatly hasten the approach of the 
time — now very near — when we can devote the whole of our 
energy to peaceful construction. On the basis of experience 
gained, we can guarantee that in the next few years we shall 



perform even greater miracles in peaceful construction than 
we did in the two years of victorious war against the all- 
powerful Entente. (Applause.) 

Comrades, in conclusion, allow me to read to you the draft 
of a motion which I now put before you. 

"The Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic wishes 
to live in peace with all peoples and devote all its efforts 
to internal development in order to establish the smooth run- 
ning of production, transport and government affairs on the 
basis of the Soviet system; this has so far been prevented 
by the intervention of the Entente and the starvation 

"The workers' and peasants' government has made frequent 
peace proposals to the Entente powers — the message from 
the People's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs to the American 
representative, Mr. Poole, on August 5, 1918; to President 
Wilson on October 24, 1918; to all Entente governments 
through representatives of neutral countries on November 3, 

1918, a message from the Sixth All-Russia Congress of Soviets 
on November 7, 1918; Litvinov's Note in Stockholm to all 
Entente representatives on December 23, 1918; then there 
were the messages of January 12, January 17 and February 4, 

1919, and the draft treaty drawn up jointly with Bullitt on 
March 12, 1919; and a message through Nansen on May 7, 

"The Seventh Congress of Soviets fully approves these 
many steps taken by the Council of People's Commissars and 
the People's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs, once more 
confirms its unwavering desire for peace and again proposes 
to the Entente powers, Britain, France, the United States 
of America, Italy and Japan, individually and collectively, 
to begin immediately negotiations on peace; the Congress 
instructs the All-Russia Central Executive Committee, the 
Council of People's Commissars and the People's Commis- 
sariat of Foreign Affairs to continue this peace policy system- 
atically, taking all appropriate measures to ensure its success." 





(Voices: "Long live Comrade Lenin! Hurrah!" Applause.) 
Comrades, it seems to me that in his speech and by his 
declaration, Martov has managed to give us an extraordi- 
narily fine sample of the attitude towards Soviet power of the 
groups and parties that formerly belonged, and still 
belong, to the Second International, and against which we 
have now founded the Communist International. The differ- 
ence between Martov's speech and his declaration must 
have struck each one of you — the difference that Comrade 
Sosnovsky stressed in the remark he shouted to Martov from 
the presidium, "Isn't that last year's declaration you have?" 
Martov's speech, indeed, most certainly belongs to 1919, to 
the end of that year, but his declaration is so compiled that 
it contains a complete repetition of what was said in 1918. 
(Applause.) And when Martov replied to Sosnovsky by say- 
ing that the declaration was "for all eternity" I was quite 
ready to take the Mensheviks under my wing and defend 
them from Martov. (Applause. Laughter.) I, comrades, have 
watched the development and activities of the Mensheviks, 
probably longer and more attentively — which has by no means 
been pleasant — than anybody else. On the basis of this fif- 
teen years of study I assert that the declaration, far from being 
"for all eternity", will not last a single year (applause), be- 
cause the entire development of the Mensheviks, especially 
in a great period such as has begun in the history of the 



Russian revolution, reveals the greatest vacillation among 
them and, taken by and large, this boils down to their parting 
company with the bourgeoisie and their prejudices, only with 
the greatest difficulty and against their own will. A number 
of times they have fought shy of the dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat but they are now beginning to approach it — to approach 
it very slowly but very surely — and I am certain that in 
another year they will take a few more steps. And then it 
will be impossible to repeat that declaration, because if 
you remove its envelope of general democratic phrases and 
parliamentary expressions that would do credit to the leader 
of a parliamentary opposition, if you cast aside those 
speeches that so many people like but which we find boring, 
and get down to the real root of the matter, then the entire 
declaration says "Back to bourgeois democracy" and nothing 
more. (Applause.) And when we hear people who profess 
sympathy with us making such declarations we say to 
ourselves, "Yes, the terror and the Cheka 72 are absolutely 
indispensable." (Applause.) 

Comrades, so that you will not now accuse me, and so 
that nobody will be able to accuse me, of picking holes 
in that declaration, I assert, on the basis of political facts, 
that a Right Menshevik and a Right Socialist-Revolutionary 
would readily subscribe to it with both hands. I have proof 
of this. The Council of the Party of Right Socialist-Revolu- 
tionaries from which Volsky and his group had to break 
away — Volsky is the Chairman of the Constituent Assembly 
Committee, you heard him speak here — the Council of the 
Right Socialist-Revolutionaries which met this year has 
resolved that they wish to merge with the Menshevik Party 
which they consider close to them. Why? Because Right 
Socialist-Revolutionaries, who support Mensheviks whose 
declaration is construed throughout on the same principles 
as that of the Right Socialist-Revolutionaries, stand behind 
the printing of the things that are in the declaration and in 
Menshevik publications (which are supposed to be purely 
theoretical and which we are wrong in prohibiting, as the 
Bund 73 representative said when she complained that the 
country does not enjoy full freedom of the press). At that 
time, after a long struggle, Volsky's group had to break away. 
That is the mess which shows quite clearly that the matter 



is not one of our cavilling at the Mensheviks but of the real 
state of affairs — this is shown by the Socialist-Revolutionary 
minority group. Here, quite rightly, the Menshevik Rozanov 
was mentioned, whom Martov and the party would probably 
have expelled — and it is this declaration the Socialist- 
Revolutionaries and Mensheviks subscribe to. 

This means that until now there are two different trends 
among them — one of them is sorry, weeps, condoles and 
wishes to return to democracy theoretically, while the other 
acts. And Martov was wrong in saying I was trying to jus- 
tify myself on the question of terrorism. That one expression 
alone shows how infinitely far the views of the petty-bour- 
geois democrats are from ours and how close they are to those 
of the Second International. Actually there is nothing at all 
socialist in them, but the exact opposite. Now that socialism 
is near, old bourgeois views are again being preached to us. 
I did not try to justify myself, I spoke about a special party, 
a party that has been created by the war, a party of officers 
who were in command throughout the imperialist war, who 
have come to the fore in this war and who know what real 
politics are. When we are told "You must either abolish 
your Cheka or organise it better" we reply, comrades, by 
saying that we do not claim that everything we are doing is 
of the best and we are ready and willing to learn without 
the slightest bias. But as those people who were in the 
Constituent Assembly want to teach us how to organise a 
security force against sons of landowners, against whiteguard 
officers, we tell them, "You were in power and fought with 
Kerensky against Kornilov, and you were with Kolchak, 
and those same whiteguards kicked you out like little chil- 
dren without a struggle. And after that you still say that 
our Cheka is badly organised!" (Applause.) Oh, no, our Cheka 
is magnificently organised. (Applause.) And when the 
conspirators in Germany now mistreat workers, when offi- 
cers led by Field Marshals over there shout "Down with the 
Berlin government", when, over there, they can murder 
Communist leaders with impunity and when a crowd of 
whiteguards treats leaders of the Second International like 
children, we see clearly that this collaborationist government 
is nothing more than a plaything in the hands of the group 
of plotters. When we have this example before us, when we 



are only just stepping out on to the road, these people say 
"You have exaggerated terror". How many weeks is it since 
we discovered the conspiracy in Petrograd? 74 How many weeks 
is it since Yudenich was a few versts from Petrograd and 
Denikin a few versts from Orel? Spokesmen of those wavering 
parties and of that wavering democracy say to us "We are 
glad that Yudenich and Kolchak have been defeated". I am 
quite willing to believe that they are glad because they know 
what Yudenich and Kolchak had in store for them. (Applause.) 
I do not suspect these people of insincerity. But I ask 
them: when the Soviet government is experiencing a difficult 
period and plots are being hatched by bourgeois elements 
and when at a critical moment we manage to lay bare these 
plots — do they think they are discovered accidentally? Oh, 
no, not accidentally. They are discovered because the plot- 
ters live among the masses, because they cannot succeed in 
their plots without the workers and peasants and it is there 
that, in the long run, they run up against people who go to 
that badly organised, as they said here, Cheka and say that 
exploiters are gathered in a certain place. (Applause.) And 
when some people come to us a short time after we have been 
in mortal danger and when we are faced with a conspiracy 
that is obvious to everyone, and tell us that the Constitution 
is not being observed and that the Cheka is badly organised, 
one may say that they have not learned any politics during 
the struggle against the whiteguards, they have not given 
any thought to their experience of Kerensky, Yudenich and 
Kolchak and have not been able to draw any practical con- 
clusions from it. But since, gentlemen, you are beginning to 
understand that Kolchak and Denikin constitute a serious 
danger, that you must choose in favour of Soviet power, it 
is time for you to drop Martov's declaration "for all eternity". 
(Laughter.) The Constitution contains all the experience of 
our two years of rule, and without that rule, as I said in 
my speech, and nobody even tried to refute it, without it 
we could not have held out for two months, let alone two 
years. Let anyone who wishes to be at all objective about 
Soviet power, if only from the standpoint of an historian 
and not of a politician who wishes to talk to the working- 
class masses, act with them and influence them — let him 
try to refute that. 



It is said that the Soviets meet rarely and are not re-elected 
often enough. It seems to me that such reproaches should 
not be answered by speeches and resolutions but by deeds. 
In my opinion the best answer would be for you to finish 
the work begun by the Soviet government of assessing how 
many elections to uyezd and urban Soviets there have been, 
how many congresses of Soviets, etc. Comrade Vladimirsky, 
Deputy People's Commissar for Internal Affairs, has pub- 
lished material on the history of those congresses. When I saw 
that material I said that this is historical material that 
proves, among other things, that there has never been in the 
history of civilised nations a country that has applied prole- 
tarian democracy as widely as we have in Russia. It is said 
that Soviets are not re-elected often enough, that we rarely 
convene congresses, but I invite every delegate to apply to 
the relevant bodies for additional questionnaires to be dis- 
tributed at this Congress on which every delegate can record 
on which day, month and year and in which uyezd, town or 
village congresses of Soviets met. If you do this simple job 
and each of you fills in a questionnaire of that sort you will ob- 
tain material to complement our incomplete data and which 
will show that in a time as difficult as war-time, when the 
century-old European constitutions that have become a matter 
of habit for the West-European people have been almost 
completely suspended, the Soviet Constitution is in force 
in the localities to a greater degree than a constitution any- 
where else in the world insofar as concerns the participation 
of the masses in government and in the independent solu- 
tion of government matters at congresses, in the Soviets and 
at elections. And if it is still said that this is not enough, 
and if there is criticism and it is asserted that "it is really a 
terrible crime if your Central Executive Committee has not 
met", well, Comrade Trotsky gave a splendid answer to the 
Bund representative on this score when he said that the Cen- 
tral Executive Committee was at the front. The representa- 
tive of the Bund — that Bund which upholds the Soviet 
platform and for that reason might really be expected at long 
last to understand what the foundation of Soviet power is — 
said this (I wrote it down), "How strange that the Central 
Executive Committee was at the front, it could have sent 



We are fighting against Kolchak, Denikin and the others — 
there have been a lot of them! It ends with Russian troops 
chasing them away like children. We are conducting a diffi- 
cult and victorious war. You know that with every invasion 
we had to send all the members of the Central Executive 
Committee to the front and then we are told "How strange, 
they should have found others". Were we functioning outside 
time and space, or what? Or are we supposed to give birth 
to Communists (applause) at the rate of a few every week? 
That is something we cannot do; workers who have been tem- 
pered by several years of struggle and who have acquired the 
necessary experience to be able to lead are fewer in our 
country than in any other. We have to adopt all measures 
to train young workers, trainees, and that will take several 
months, years even. And when this is taking place under 
very difficult circumstances, we are treated to grins for our 
trouble. These grins only prove a complete failure to under- 
stand these conditions. It is really a ridiculous intellectual- 
ist lack of understanding, when we are compelled in these 
war conditions to act differently from the way we have acted 
up to now. We have to strain our forces to the utmost and 
for this reason have to give up our best officials and Central 
and local Executive Committee members for the front. I am 
sure that nobody who has any practical experience in adminis- 
tration will condemn us; he will, on the contrary, approve 
of our having done the maximum possible to reduce colle- 
giate bodies belonging to executive committees to a minimum 
until, under pressure of war, only the executive committee 
itself was left, because the functionaries hurried to the front 
in the same way as they are now rushing in hundreds and 
thousands to engage in fuel supply work. That is the foun- 
dation without which the Soviet Republic cannot exist. 
And if the less frequent meetings of the Soviets for a few 
months is the price at which this has to be purchased, then 
any sensible worker or peasant will understand the need for 
it and will approve of it. 

I have said that in respect of democracy and the democrats 
we are still being offered the prejudices of bourgeois democ- 
racy in their entirety. An opposition party has said here that 
the suppression of the bourgeoisie must be stopped. One 
should think of what one is saying. What does the suppression 



of the bourgeoisie mean? The landowner could be sup- 
pressed and destroyed by abolishing landed proprietorship 
and transferring the land to the peasants. But can the 
bourgeoisie be suppressed and destroyed by the abolition 
of big capital? Anyone who knows the ABC of Marxism knows 
that the bourgeoisie cannot be suppressed in this way, knows 
that the bourgeoisie is born of commodity production; the 
peasant who has a surplus of hundreds of poods of grain that 
he does not need for his family and does not deliver to the 
workers' state as a loan to help the hungry worker, and 
profiteers under the prevailing conditions of commodity 
production — what is he? Is he not a bourgeois? Is the bourgeoi- 
sie not born in this way? On this issue, the grain issue, and 
on the question of the torments of hunger being suffered by 
all industrial Russia, do we get any assistance from those 
who reproach us with not observing the Constitution, with 
having suppressed the bourgeoisie? No! Do they help us 
in this respect? They hide behind the words "concord of 
the workers and peasants". That concord, of course, is neces- 
sary. We showed how we achieve it on October 26, 1917, 
when we took that part of the programme of the Socialist- 
Revolutionaries which supports the peasants and put it into 
operation in full. In that way we showed that the peasant 
who had been exploited by the landowners, who lives by his 
own labour and does not profiteer, finds a true protector in the 
worker sent to him by the central state authority. In this 
way we have effected concord with the peasants. When we 
pursue a food policy requiring that surplus grain not needed 
by the peasant family be given to the workers as a state loan, 
any objection to it supports profiteering. This still exists 
among the petty-bourgeois masses who are accustomed to 
living in the bourgeois way. This is a terrible thing, this is 
a danger to the social revolution! Have the Mensheviks and 
Socialist-Revolutionaries ever done anything to help us in 
this respect, even the most Left of them? No, they never 
have! And their publications, that we are supposed to permit 
for the sake of "principles of liberty" and samples of which 
we have in our possession, show that they never by a single 
word — to say nothing of deeds — do anything to help us. 
Until we have fully conquered the old habit, the accursed 
old gospel of everyone for himself and God for all, we have no 



alternative but to requisition grain surpluses as a loan to the 
hungry workers. It is terribly difficult to do this — we know 
that. Here nothing can be accomplished by force. Neverthe- 
less it is ridiculous to say that we represent a minority of 
the working class — that can only make one laugh. That could 
be said in Paris, although workers' meetings there would 
not listen to such statements either. In a country where the 
government has been overthrown with unusual ease, where 
the workers and peasants are defending their own interests 
arms in hand, where they employ the rifle as the instrument 
of their will — to say in such a country that we represent a 
minority of the working class is absurd. I can understand such 
statements on the lips of Clemenceau, Lloyd George or 
Wilson. They are their words and their ideas! But when the 
speeches of Wilson, Clemenceau, and Lloyd George, the worst 
of the predators, the wild beasts of imperialism, are repeated 
here by Martov in the name of the Russian Social-Demo- 
cratic Labour Party (laughter), then I say to myself that we 
have to be on the alert and to realise that the Cheka is 
indispensable! (Applause.) 

All the opposition speakers, the Bund representatives 
included, accuse us of not abiding by the Constitution. 
I maintain that we observe the Constitution most strictly. 
(Voice from a box: "Oho!") And although I hear an ironic 
"Oho!" from a box that was once the royal box and is now the 
opposition box (laughter) I shall nevertheless prove it. 
(Applause.) I will read to you the article of the Constitu- 
tion that we observe most strictly and which shows that in 
all our activities we stick to the Constitution. Whenever 
I have had to speak about the Constitution at meetings 
attended by followers of the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolu- 
tionaries there has always been difficulty in finding the 
text of the Constitution to quote. The meetings, however, 
were mostly held in halls where there was a Constitution 
hanging on the wall. In this hall there is none, but Comrade 
Petrovsky has saved the situation by lending me a pam- 
phlet entitled Constitution of the R.S.F.S.R. I shall read 
Article 23: "Guided by the interests of the working class as 
a whole, the R.S.F.S.R. deprives certain persons and certain 
groups of rights they use to the detriment of the interests 
of the socialist revolution." 



I say once again, comrades, that we have never regarded 
our activity in general and our Constitution in particular 
us models of perfection. The question of changes to the 
Constitution has been raised at this Congress. We agree to 
make changes, let us take a look at the changes; they will 
not, however, remain constant "for all eternity". If you 
still want to fight, let it be a clean fight. If you want us to 
abide by the Constitution, why don't you want us to abide 
by Article 23? (Applause.) If this is not what you want, 
then let us discuss whether it is necessary to annul the arti- 
cle which says we should not go to the people with talk about 
universal freedom and the universal equality of the work- 
ing people. You have made an excellent study of constitu- 
tional law, but you have learned from old bourgeois text- 
books. You recall words about "democracy and freedom", you 
refer to the Constitution and you recall former words, and 
you promise the people everything in order not to fulfil 
that promise. We do not promise anything of the sort, 
we do not propose equality of workers and peasants. You do, 
so let's dispute the issue. There shall be complete equality, 
friendship and a fraternal alliance with those peasants who 
were exploited by the landowners and capitalists and who are 
now working to support their families on land taken from the 
landowners. We shall not, however, grant equality to those 
peasants who, because of their old habits, ignorance and 
avarice, are pulling back towards the bourgeoisie. You use 
general phrases about freedom and equality for the working 
people, about democracy and about the equality of workers 
and peasants. We do not promise that the Constitution will 
guarantee liberty and equality in general. Freedom — but 
for which class and for what purpose? Equality — who shall 
be equal to whom? For those who labour, who were exploited 
for dozens and hundreds of years by the bourgeoisie and who 
are now fighting against the bourgeoisie? It is so stated in 
the Constitution: "The dictatorship of the workers and poor 
peasants for the suppression of the bourgeoisie." When you 
speak about the Constitution, why don't you quote those 
words: "for the suppression of the bourgeoisie, for the sup- 
pression of the profiteers"? Show us a model country, a model 
of your splendid Menshevik constitution. Perhaps you will 
find such a model in the history, say, of Samara, where the 



Mensheviks were in power. Perhaps you will find it in Geor- 
gia where the Mensheviks are in power today, where the 
suppression of the bourgeoisie, the profiteers, is proceeding 
under conditions of complete freedom and equality, under 
conditions of consistent democracy and without a Cheka. 
Show us such a model and we shall learn from it. You can- 
not, however, demonstrate such a model for you know that 
in all places where the collaborationists hold power, where 
the government is Menshevik or semi-Menshevik, feverish, 
unhampered speculation reigns. And the Vienna that Trotsky 
justly spoke about in his speech, where people like Friedrich 
Adler are in the government and which does not know "the hor- 
rors of Bolshevism", is as hungry and tormented as Petrograd 
and Moscow, but without the knowledge that the Viennese 
workers at the cost of hunger are breaking a road to victory 
over the bourgeoisie. Vienna is suffering more from hunger 
than Petrograd or Moscow and right there the Austrian and 
Viennese bourgeoisie are committing monstrous acts of specu- 
lation and plunder in the Viennese streets, in the Nevsky 
Prospekt and Kuznetsky Most* of Vienna. You do not abide 
by the Constitution, but we do when we recognise freedom 
and equality only for those who help the proletariat defeat 
the bourgeoisie. And in Article 23 we say that the land will 
not flow with milk and honey during the transition period. 
We say that we have to hold out, not for months, but for 
years, in order to complete the transition period. After two 
years we can say (and we shall most likely be believed) that 
we are able to hold out for several years only because we have 
inscribed in the Constitution that certain persons and groups 
are deprived of rights. We do not conceal from whom we have 
taken away the rights, we say openly that it is the group of 
Mensheviks and Right Socialist-Revolutionaries. The leaders 
of the Second International condemned us for this, but we 
say outright to the group of Mensheviks and Socialist- 
Revolutionaries that we are ready to grant everything, but 
they must help us pursue the policy of the working people 
against the profiteers, against those who are helping food 
profiteering, those who are helping the bourgeoisie. Insofar 

* Nevsky Prospekt and Kuznetsky Most were the shopping centres 
of pre-revolutionary Petrograd and Moscow respectively. — Ed. 



as you prove this to us by deeds we shall free you from what 
has been done to you by the Constitution, but until then 
your empty words are mere evasion. Our Constitution is 
not noted for its rhetoric, it says to the peasants — if you are 
a labouring peasant you possess all rights, but there can be 
no equality of rights for all in a society in which workers are 
starving and where a fight against the bourgeoisie is under 
way. And it says to the workers — equality for those peasants 
who are helping in the struggle against the bourgeoisie, but 
no generalisations! In this field there will be a hard struggle. 
We accept with the greatest pleasure anyone who wants to 
help, irrespective of his past and irrespective of all titles. 
And we know that more and more such people are coming 
to us from other parties and from among the non-party people 
and this is a guarantee of our victory. {Loud applause. 
Shouts of "Bravo".) 





Comrades, I have received a number of notes from dele- 
gates asking me to speak on this issue. I did not think 
there was any need for it, and I refrained from speaking until 
I received these invitations because I unfortunately have 
had no opportunity of acquiring a practical knowledge of 
work in the localities and it stands to reason that the knowl- 
edge obtained through work in the Council of People's 
Commissars is insufficient. I am, furthermore, in complete 
agreement with what Comrade Trotsky has said and shall, 
therefore, confine myself to some brief comments. 

When the question was raised in the Council of People's 
Commissars of the state farms and their transfer to gubernia 
land departments, and when the question of chief administra- 
tions and central boards was raised, there was no doubt in my 
mind that there are more than a few counter-revolutionary 
elements in both types of institution. But when attempts 
are made to accuse the state farms of being particularly 
counter-revolutionary institutions it has always seemed to 
me, and still does, that it is missing the mark, for neither 
the state farms, nor the chief administrations and central 
boards, nor any kind of big industrial establishment, or, in 
general, any central or local organisation administering 
a branch of economy of any importance, can and does manage 
without solving the problem of the employment of bourgeois 
specialists. It seems to me that attacks on the chief admin- 
istrations and boards, though fully justified because a 
thorough purge of them is needed, are nevertheless mistaken, 
because in the present case this type of institution is chosen 



indiscriminately from a number of similar institutions. 
It is, however, as clear as daylight from the work of the 
Economic Council that on no account must the chief adminis- 
trations and boards and the state farms be specially selected 
in this matter because all our Soviet work, whether in the 
military field, or in the health services, or in education, 
has everywhere been up against, and is still up against, 
problems of this sort. We cannot recast the state apparatus 
and train a sufficient number of workers and peasants to make 
them fully acquainted with the government of the state 
without the aid of the old specialists. This is the main lesson 
to be learned from all our organisational work, and this 
experience tells us that in all spheres, including the mili- 
tary sphere, the old specialists — they are called old because 
of this — cannot be taken from anywhere except from capital- 
ist society. That society made possible the training of 
specialists from far too narrow strata of the population, those 
that belonged to the families of landowners and capitalists, 
with only an insignificant number of peasant origin and only 
from among the wealthy peasants at that. If, therefore, we 
take into consideration the situation in which those people 
grew up and that in which they are now working, it is abso- 
lutely inevitable that these specialists, i.e., those skilled 
in administration on a broad, national scale, are to nine- 
tenths permeated with old bourgeois views and prejudices 
and even in those cases when they are not downright traitors 
(and this is not something that happens occasionally but 
is a regular feature), even then they are not capable of 
understanding the new conditions, the new tasks and the new 
requirements. On these grounds friction, failures and disorder 
are apparent everywhere, in all commissariats. 

It seems to me, therefore, that people are missing the mark 
when they shout about reactionaries in the state farms, chief 
administrations and boards, attempting to separate this 
question from the general one of how to teach a large number 
of workers and peasants to administrate on a broad national 
scale. We are doing this at a speed that, if you take into 
consideration the backwardness of the country and the 
difficulty of our conditions, is certainly unknown in world 
history. No matter how great that speed is, it still does not 
satisfy us, because our requirements in workers and peasants 



capable of administrative work and acquainted with special 
branches of administration are tremendous and are not 
being met even ten, even one per cent. When we are told, or 
when it is demonstrated at meetings of the Council of Peo- 
ple's Commissars, that the state farms everywhere are 
hiding-places for old landowners who are slightly disguised or 
are not disguised at all, that nests of the bureaucracy are being 
built there, and that similar things are often to be observed 
in chief administrations and central boards, I never doubt 
that it is true. But I did say that if you think you can remedy 
this evil by handing the state farms over to the gubernia land 
departments you are mistaken. 

Why are there more counter-revolutionary elements left 
in the chief administrations and central boards and in the 
state farms than there are in the army? Why are there fewer 
of them among the military? Because greater attention was, 
on the whole, paid to the military sphere and more Commu- 
nists, more workers and peasants were sent there, political 
departments worked on a broader scale there, in short, the 
influence of advanced workers and peasants on the entire 
military apparatus was broader, more profound and more 
regular. Owing to this we have succeeded, if not in eradicating 
the evil, at least in being close to eradicating it. To this, 
I say, the greatest attention should be paid. 

We are taking only the first steps towards getting the 
state farms in close contact with the neighbouring peasants 
and with communist groups so that there will be commissars 
everywhere, not only in the army and not only on paper. 
No matter whether they will be called members of a collegi- 
um, assistant managers or commissars, there must be indi- 
vidual responsibility — this and individual management are 
as necessary as collectivism is essential in discussing basic 
questions if there is to be no red tape and no opportunity 
to evade responsibility. We need people who will learn to 
administer independently in all cases. If this is done we 
shall overcome the evil in the best manner. 

I am in complete agreement, let me say in conclusion, 
with Comrade Trotsky when he says that here many incorrect 
attempts have been made to present our disputes as being 
between workers and peasants and that the question of the 
administrations and boards has been woven into the question 



of the dictatorship of the proletariat. In my opinion this is 
radically wrong. The question of the dictatorship of the 
proletariat may be raised when the issue is that of suppress- 
ing the bourgeoisie. Then we have to think about this ques- 
tion, then we need the dictatorship because only through 
it can we suppress the bourgeoisie and place power in the 
hands of that section of the working people that is capable 
of acting unwaveringly and attracting to itself ever greater 
numbers of the vacillating. In the present case we are not 
faced with anything of the sort. We are discussing how much 
more or how much less centralism is needed in a certain 
field at a certain moment. Since the comrades from the 
localities assure us (and Comrade Trotsky and many people's 
commissars confirm it) that in recent times in the gubernias 
and, to a considerable degree, in the uyezds, functionaries 
of a higher type have appeared (I am constantly hearing such 
an assertion also from Comrade Kalinin who has visited 
many places, and from comrades arriving here from the prov- 
inces), we shall have to take that into consideration and 
ask ourselves whether the matter of centralism is rightly 
understood in the present instance. I am sure we shall have 
to undertake a very great deal of this sort of correcting in 
the work of Soviet institutions. We are only now beginning 
to acquire organisational experience in this field. Insofar as 
we can see this experience from inside the Council of De- 
fence and the Council of People's Commissars, it is quite 
obvious that it cannot be expressed by any figures and that 
it is impossible to talk about it in a short speech. We are 
sure, however, that in the localities work is being done in 
accordance with the general instructions of the central 
authorities. This has been achieved only in recent times. 

This is by no means a question of a conflict between the 
dictatorship of the proletariat and other social elements. 
It is a matter of the experience of our Soviet organisational 
work, experience which, in my opinion, does not even con- 
cern the Constitution. Much has been said here about changes 
to the Constitution. But I do not think it has anything to do 
with this. The Constitution speaks of centralism as the basic 
principle. This basic principle is so indisputable for all of 
us (we all learned it from the impressive and even brutal 
object-lesson of Kolchak, Yudenich, Denikin and guer- 



rilla bands) that here it cannot come into question. Nor does 
Comrade Sapronov reject the basic principle of centralism 
when it is a matter of granting a people's commissar or the 
Council of People's Commissars the right to challenge a 
candidate. It is not a constitutional question but one of 
practical convenience. We have to bring pressure to bear, 
first in one, then in another direction, in order to achieve 
positive results. When we are talking about gubernia state 
farm boards, or gubernia land departments, the stress is on 
placing them under the control of workers and neighbouring 
peasants. This is irrespective of whom they are subordinated 
to. It seems to me that no changes to the Constitution will 
ever enable you to kick out the hidden landowners or the dis- 
guised capitalists and bourgeois. We must introduce into 
our institutions a sufficient number of workers and peasants 
who are loyal beyond all doubt and who have practical expe- 
rience as members of small collegiums, as assistants to some 
managers or as commissars. That's the crux of the matter! 
In this way you will have an ever greater number of workers 
and peasants who are learning to administer, and if they go 
through a complete schooling side by side with the old spe- 
cialists they will take their places, carry out the same 
tasks and will train for our civil business, for the manage- 
ment of industry, for the direction of economic activities, 
a corps of officers to replace the personnel in the same way 
as that is being done in our war department. Therefore, I do 
not think there is any reason to proceed from considerations 
of principle as has here sometimes been the case; we must 
examine the question as one of practical experience and not 
as a constitutional one. If the majority of local function- 
aries, after an all-round discussion of the problem, come to 
the conclusion that gubernia state farm boards should be 
subordinated to the gubernia land departments — so well 
and good, we'll experiment on those lines and then decide 
the issue from the point of view of practical experience. First 
of all, however, we have to decide whether we shall get rid 
of the disguised landowners in this way, whether we shall 
make better use of the specialists. Shall we in this way train 
a larger number of workers and peasants to take over the man- 
agement themselves? Shall we be drawing the neighbouring 
peasantry into the practical check-up of the state farms? 



Shall we be elaborating practical forms for that check-up? 
That is what really matters! If we solve these problems I do 
not think we shall have wasted our time and our labour. 
Let us try different systems in the different people's commis- 
sariats; let us establish one system for state farms, chief 
administrations and central boards and another for the army 
or the Commissariat of Health. Our job is to attract, by way 
of experiment, large numbers of specialists, then replace 
them by training a new officers' corps, a new body of special- 
ists who will have to learn the extremely difficult, new and 
complicated business of administration. The forms this will 
take will not necessarily be identical. Comrade Trotsky was 
quite right in saying that this is not written in any of the 
books we might consider our guides, it does not follow from 
any socialist world outlook, it has not been determined by 
anybody's experience but will have to be determined by our 
own experience. It seems to me that in this respect we must 
pool experience of communist organisation and test it by 
its practical implementation, so that we shall fully determine 
how we must tackle the problems that confront us. 






(Prolonged applause. Delegates and visitors rise and 
applaud stormily for several minutes.) Comrades, I should 
like to say a few words apropos of the most important items 
we have dealt with at this Congress. 

We had a brief discussion, comrades, on the question 
of democracy and Soviet power. Although it may seem at 
first glance that this discussion was far removed from the 
burning, practical, day-to-day problems of the Soviet 
Republic, I nevertheless think that it was far from useless. 
Comrades, in workers' organisations throughout the world 
and very often in bourgeois parliaments, and, in any case, 
during elections to bourgeois parliaments, there is today 
the same basic discussion on democracy — which, although 
many people do not realise it, is the old bourgeois democracy 
— and on the new, Soviet, power. Old or bourgeois 
democracy proclaims freedom and equality, equality 
irrespective of whether a person owns anything or not, 
irrespective of whether he is the owner of capital or not; it 
proclaims freedom for private owners to dispose of land and 
capital and freedom for those who have neither to sell their 
workers' hands to a capitalist. 

Comrades, our Soviet power has made a determined break 
with that freedom and that equality which is a lie (applause) 
and has said to the working people that socialists who under- 
stand freedom and equality in the bourgeois way have forgot- 
ten the germ, the ABC and all the content of socialism. We, 
and all the socialists who have not yet betrayed socialism, 



have always exposed the lies, fraud and hypocrisy of bour- 
geois society that talk about freedom and equality, or, at 
any rate, about the freedom and equality of elections, 
although actually the power of the capitalists, the private 
ownership of land and factories, predetermines not freedom 
but the oppression and deception of the working people under 
every possible kind of "democratic and republican" system. 

We say that our aim, being the aim of world socialism, 
is the abolition of classes and that classes are groups of 
people, one of which lives by the labour of another, one of 
which appropriates the labour of another. And so, if we 
are to speak of that freedom and that equality we shall have 
to admit, as most of the working people in Russia do, that 
no other country has as yet given as much in such a short 
time for real freedom and real equality, no other country 
has, in such a short time, given the working people freedom 
from the main class that oppresses them, the class of land- 
owners and capitalists, and no other country has granted such 
equality in respect of the chief means of subsistence, the 
land. It is along this road, that of emancipation from the 
exploiting bourgeois classes up to the complete abolition of 
the classes, that we have begun and are continuing a resolute 
struggle for the complete abolition of classes. We know full 
well that those classes have been defeated but not destroyed. 
We know full well that the landowners and capitalists have 
been defeated but not destroyed. The class struggle con- 
tinues, and the proletariat, together with the poor peasantry, 
must continue the struggle for the complete abolition of 
classes, attracting to their side all those who stand in the 
middle, and by their entire experience, their example of 
struggle they must ensure that all those who until now have 
stood in the ranks of the wavering are attracted to their 

Comrades, going over to the business of our Congress, 
I must say that the Seventh Congress, is the first that has 
been able to devote a lot of time to the practical tasks of 
organisation, for the first time we have succeeded in making 
a start on a practical discussion, based directly on practical 
experience, of those tasks that concern the better organisa- 
tion of Soviet economy and the better organisation of Soviet 



We have, of course, had too little time to deal with this 
problem in great detail but we have, nevertheless, done 
a lot here, and all the further work of the Central Execu- 
tive Committee and of the comrades in the localities will 
follow the lines laid down here. 

In conclusion, comrades, I should like to make special 
mention of the way the present Congress is to become effec- 
tive insofar as our international situation is concerned. 

Comrades, we have here repeated our peace proposal to 
all the powers and countries of the Entente. We have here 
expressed confidence based on experience that is already very 
rich and of a very serious nature — our confidence that the 
main difficulties are behind us and that we are undoubtedly 
emerging victorious from the war forced on us by the Entente, 
the war that we have been fighting for two years against an 
enemy considerably stronger than we are. 

But I think, comrades, that the appeal we have just 
heard from a representative of our Red Army was neverthe- 
less very timely. If the main difficulties have been left 
behind, comrades, we have to admit that ahead of us, too, 
organisational tasks are developing on an extremely broad 
scale. There can be no doubt that there are still very influen- 
tial and very strong capitalist groups, groups that are 
obviously dominant in many countries and that have decided 
to continue the war against Soviet Russia to the end, cost 
what it may. There can be no doubt that now we have 
achieved a certain decisive victory we shall have to devote 
additional efforts, we shall have to bend still greater effort 
in order to exploit that victory and carry it through to the 
end. (Applause.) 

Comrades, there are two things you must not forget — 
first, our general weakness connected, perhaps, with the 
Slav character — we are not stable enough, not persistent 
enough in pursuing the aims we set ourselves — and secondly, 
experience has shown, once in the East and again in the South, 
that in a decisive moment we were unable to press hard 
enough on a fleeing enemy and have allowed him to rise to 
his feet again. There can be not a shadow of doubt that 
governments and the military classes of Western Europe are 
now drawing up new plans to save Denikin. There cannot be 
the slightest doubt that they will try to increase tenfold the 



aid they have been giving him because they realise how great 
is the danger threatening him from Soviet Russia. We must, 
therefore, tell ourselves at a time when the victories are 
beginning, as we did in times of difficulty, "Comrades, 
remember that it may now depend on a few weeks or perhaps 
two or three months whether we end this war, not merely with 
a decisive victory, but with the complete destruction of the 
enemy, or whether we shall condemn tens and hundreds of 
thousands of people to a lengthy and tormenting war. On 
the basis of the experience we have acquired we can now say 
with full confidence that if we can redouble our efforts 
the possibility of not only achieving a final victory, but 
also of destroying the enemy and gaining for ourselves a 
durable and lengthy peace depends on a few weeks or on two 
or three months...." 

Therefore, comrades, I should like more than anything 
to ask each of you on arriving in your locality to present 
this question to every Party organisation, to every Soviet 
institution and to every meeting of workers and peasants — 
comrades, this winter campaign will most certainly lead to 
the complete destruction of the enemy if we, encouraged by 
success and by the clear prospects for Soviet development 
that now open up before us, regard the forthcoming weeks 
and months as a period of hard work in which we must re- 
double our war effort and other work connected with it, and 
we shall then in the shortest time destroy the enemy, and put 
an end to the Civil War, which will open up before us the 
possibility for peaceful socialist construction for a long time. 



The symposium issued by the Socialist-Revolutionaries, 
A Year of the Russian Revolution. 1917-18 (Moscow, Zemlya 
i Volya Publishers, 1918), contains an extremely interest- 
ing article by N. V. Svyatitsky: "Results of the All-Russia 
Constituent Assembly Elections (Preface)". The author 
gives the returns for 54 constituencies out of the total 
of 79. 

The author's survey covers nearly all the gubernias of 
European Russia and Siberia, only the following being 
omitted: Olonets, Estonian, Kaluga, Bessarabian, Podolsk, 
Orenburg, Yakut and Don gubernias. 

First of all I shall quote the main returns published by 
N. V. Svyatitsky and then discuss the political conclusions 
to be drawn from them. 


The total number of votes polled in the 54 constituencies 
in November 1917 was 36,262,560. The author gives the 
figure of 36,257,960, distributed over seven regions (plus 
the Army and Navy), but the figures he gives for the various 
parties total up to what I give. 

The distribution of the votes according to parties is as 
follows: the Russian Socialist-Revolutionaries polled 16.5 
million votes; if we add the votes polled by the Socialist- 
Revolutionaries of the other nations (Ukrainians, Moslems, 



and others), the total will be 20.9 million, i.e., 58 per 

The Mensheviks polled 668,064 votes, but if we add the 
votes polled by the analogous groups of Popular Socialists 
(312,000), Yedinstvo (25,000), Co-operators (51,000), Ukrainian 
Social-Democrats (95,000), Ukrainian socialists (507,000), 
German socialists (44,000) and Finnish socialists (14,000), 
the total will be 1.7 million. 

The Bolsheviks polled 9,023,963 votes. 

The Cadets polled 1,856,639 votes. By adding the Associa- 
tion of Rural Proprietors and Landowners (215,000), the 
Right groups (292,000), Old Believers (73,000), national- 
ists—Jews (550,000), Moslems (576,000), Bashkirs (195,000), 
Letts (67,000), Poles (155,000), Cossacks (79,000), 
Germans (130,000), Byelorussians (12,000)— and the "lists 
of various groups and organisations" (418,000), we get 
a total for the landowning and bourgeois parties 
of 4.6 million. 

We know that the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the 
Mensheviks formed a bloc during the whole period of the 
revolution from February to October 1917. Moreover, the 
entire development of events during that period and after it 
showed definitely that those two parties together represent 
petty-bourgeois democracy, which mistakenly imagines it is, 
and calls itself, socialist, like all the parties of the Second 

Uniting the three main groups of parties in the Constitu- 
ent Assembly elections, we get the following total: 

Party of the Proletariat (Bolsheviks) 9.02 million = 25 per cent 
Petty-Bourgeois democratic parties 

Mensheviks, etc.) 22.62 " = 62 " 

Parties of landowners and bour- 
geoisie (Cadets, etc.) .... 4.62 " = 13 

Total .... 36.26 million = 100 per cent 
Here are N. V. Svyatitsky's returns by regions. 


Regions* (and armed 
forces separately) 

Votes Polled (thousands) 


(Rus- Per cent 






Per ceni 


Per cem 





A,\) 10.1 




































Northern . . . 
Volga-Black Earth 
Western . . 
East-Urals . 
Siberia . . . 
The Ukraine . 
Army and Navy 

From these figures it is evident that during the Constitu- 
ent Assembly elections the Bolsheviks were the party 
of the proletariat and the Socialist-Revolutionaries, the 
party of the peasantry. In the purely peasant districts, 
Great-Russian (Volga-Black Earth, Siberia, East-Urals) and 
Ukrainian, the Socialist-Revolutionaries polled 62-77 per 
cent. In the industrial centres the Bolsheviks had a major- 
ity over the Socialist-Revolutionaries. This majority is 
understated in the district figures given by N. V. Svyatitsky, 
for he combined the most highly industrialised districts 
with little industrialised and non-industrial areas. For ex- 
ample, the gubernia figures of the votes polled by the 
Socialist-Revolutionary, Bolshevik, and Cadet parties, and 
by the "national and other groups", show the following: 

In the Northern Region the Bolshevik majority seems to 
be insignificant: 40 per cent against 38 per cent. But in this 
region non-industrial areas (Archangel, Vologda, Novgorod 
and Pskov gubernias), where the Socialist-Revolution- 
aries predominate, are combined with industrial areas: 

* The author divides Russia into districts in a rather unusual way: 
Northern: Archangel, Vologda, Petrograd, Novgorod, Pskov, Baltic. 
Central-Industrial: Vladimir, Kostroma, Moscow, Nizhni-Novgorod, 
Ryazan, Tula, Tver Yaroslavl. Volga-Black Earth: Astrakhan, Voro- 
nezh, Kursk, Orel Penza Samara, Saratov, Simbirsk, Tambov. 
Western: Vitebsk, Minsk, Mogilev, Smolensk. East-Urals: Vyatka, 
Kazan, Perm, Ufa. Siberia: Tobolsk, Tomsk, Altai, Yeniseisk, Irkutsk, 
Transbaikal, Amur. The Ukraine: Volhynia, Ekaterinoslav, Kiev, 
Poltava, Taurida, Kharkov, Kherson, Chernigov. 

** Svyatitsky obtains the figure in brackets, 62 per cent, by 
adding the Moslem and Chuvash Socialist-Revolutionaries. 

*** The figure in brackets, 77 per cent, is mine, obtained by adding 
the Ukrainian Socialist-Revolutionaries. 



Petrograd City — Bolsheviks 45 per cent (of the votes), 
Socialist-Revolutionaries 16 per cent; Petrograd Gubernia — 
Bolsheviks 50 per cent, Socialist-Revolutionaries 26 per cent; 
Baltic — Bolsheviks 72 per cent, Socialist-Revolutionaries — 0. 

In the Central-Industrial Region the Bolsheviks in Mos- 
cow Gubernia polled 56 per cent and the Socialist-Revolu- 
tionaries 25 per cent; in Moscow City the Bolsheviks polled 
50 per cent and the Socialist-Revolutionaries 8 per cent; 
in Tver Gubernia the Bolsheviks polled 54 per cent and the 
Socialist-Revolutionaries 39 per cent; in Vladimir Gubernia 
the Bolsheviks polled 56 per cent and the Socialist-Revolu- 
tionaries 32 per cent. 

Let us note, in passing, how ridiculous, in face of such 
facts, is the talk about the Bolsheviks having only a "minor- 
ity" of the proletariat behind them! And we hear this talk 
from the Mensheviks (668,000 votes, and with Transcaucasia 
another 700,000-800,000, against 9,000,000 votes polled 
by the Bolsheviks), and also from the social-traitors of the 
Second International. 


How could such a miracle have occurred? How could the 
Bolsheviks, who polled one-fourth of the votes, have won a 
victory over the petty-bourgeois democrats, who were in 
alliance (coalition) with the bourgeoisie, and who together 
with the bourgeoisie polled three-fourths of the votes? 

To deny this victory now, after the Entente — the all- 
mighty Entente — has been helping the enemies of Bolshe- 
vism for two years, is simply ridiculous. 

The point is that the fanatical political hatred of those 
who have been defeated, including all the supporters of the 
Second International, prevents them from even raising 
seriously the extremely interesting historical and political 
question of why the Bolsheviks were victorious. The point 
is that this is a "miracle" only from the standpoint of 
vulgar petty-bourgeois democracy, the abysmal ignorance 
and deep-rooted prejudices of which are exposed by this 
question and the answer to it. 

From the standpoint of the class struggle and socialism, 
from that standpoint, which the Second International 
has abandoned, the answer to the question is indisputable. 


The Bolsheviks were victorious, first of all, because they 
had behind them the vast majority of the proletariat, 
which included the most class-conscious, energetic and 
revolutionary section, the real vanguard, of that advanced 

Take the two metropolitan cities, Petrograd and Moscow. 
The total number of votes polled during the Constituent 
Assembly elections was 1,765,100, of which Socialist- 
Revolutionaries polled 218,000, Bolsheviks— 837,000 and 
Cadets— 515,400. 

No matter how much the petty-bourgeois democrats who 
call themselves socialists and Social-Democrats (the Cher- 
novs, Martovs, Kautskys, Longuets, MacDonalds and Co.) 
may beat their breasts and bow to the Goddesses of "equality", 
"universal suffrage", "democracy", "pure democracy", or 
"consistent democracy", it does not do away with the 
economic and political fact of the inequality of town and 

That fact is inevitable under capitalism in general, 
and in the period of transition from capitalism to communism 
in particular. 

The town cannot be equal to the country. The country 
cannot be equal to the town under the historical conditions 
of this epoch. The town inevitably leads the country. The 
country inevitably follows the town. The only question is 
which class, of the "urban" classes, will succeed in leading 
the country, will cope with this task, and what forms will 
leadership by the town assume? 

In November 1917, the Bolsheviks had behind them the 
vast majority of the proletariat. By that time, the party 
which competed with the Bolsheviks among the proletariat, 
the Menshevik party, had been utterly defeated (9,000,000 
votes against 1,400,000, if we add together 668,000 and 
700,000-800,000 in Transcaucasia). Moreover, that party 
was defeated in the fifteen-year struggle (1903-17) which 
steeled, enlightened and organised the vanguard of the 
proletariat, and forged it into a genuine revolutionary 
vanguard. Furthermore, the first revolution, that of 1905, 
prepared the subsequent development, determined in a 
practical way the relations between-the two parties, and 
served as the general rehearsal of the great events of 1917-19. 



The petty-bourgeois democrats who call themselves 
socialists of the Second International are fond of dismissing 
this extremely important historical question with honeyed 
phrases about the benefits of proletarian "unity". When they 
use these honeyed phrases they forget the historical fact of the 
accumulation of opportunism in the working-class movement 
of 1871-1914; they forget (or do not want) to think about 
the causes of the collapse of opportunism in August 1914, 
about the causes of the split in international socialism in 

Unless the revolutionary section of the proletariat is 
thoroughly prepared in every way for the expulsion and 
suppression of opportunism it is useless even thinking about 
the dictatorship of the proletariat. That is the lesson of the 
Russian revolution which should be taken to heart by the 
leaders of the "independent" German Social-Democrats, 76 
French socialists, and so forth, who now want to evade 
the issue by means of verbal recognition of the dictatorship 
of the proletariat. 

To continue. The Bolsheviks had behind them not only 
the majority of the proletariat, not only the revolutionary 
vanguard of the proletariat which had been steeled in the 
long and persevering struggle against opportunism; they had, 
if it is permissible to use a military term, a powerful 
"striking force" in the metropolitan cities. 

An overwhelming superiority of forces at the decisive 
point at the decisive moment — this "law" of military success 
is also the law of political success, especially in that fierce, 
seething class war which is called revolution. 

Capitals, or, in general, big commercial and industrial 
centres (here in Russia the two coincided, but they do not 
everywhere coincide), to a considerable degree decide the 
political fate of a nation, provided, of course, the centres 
are supported by sufficient local, rural forces, even if that 
support does not come immediately. 

In the two chief cities, in the two principal commercial 
and industrial centres of Russia, the Bolsheviks had an over- 
whelming, decisive superiority of forces. Here our forces 
were nearly four times as great as those of the Socialist- 
Revolutionaries. We had here more than the Socialist- 
Revolutionaries and Cadets put together. Moreover, our adver- 


saries were split up, for the "coalition" of the Cadets with the 
Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks (in Petrograd and 
Moscow the Mensheviks polled only 3 per cent of the votes) 
was utterly discredited among the working people. Real 
unity between the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Menshe- 
viks and the Cadets against us was quite out of the question 
at that time.* It will be remembered that in November 1917, 
even the leaders of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Men- 
sheviks, who were a hundred times nearer to the idea of a 
bloc with the Cadets than the Socialist-Revolutionary and 
Menshevik workers and peasants, even those leaders thought 
(and bargained with us) about a bloc with the Bolsheviks 
without the Cadets! 

We were certain of winning Petrograd and Moscow in 
October-November 1917, for we had an overwhelming superi- 
ority of forces and the most thorough political preparation, 
insofar as concerns both the assembly, concentration, 
training, testing and battle-hardening of the Bolshevik 
"armies", and the disintegration, exhaustion, disunity and 
demoralisation of the "enemy's" "armies". 

And being certain of winning the two metropolitan cities, 
the two centres of the capitalist state machine (economic and 
political), by a swift, decisive blow, we, in spite of the 
furious resistance of the bureaucracy and intelligentsia, 
despite sabotage, and so forth, were able with the aid of 
the central apparatus of state power to prove by deeds to 
the reore-proletarian working people that the proletariat was 
their only reliable ally, friend and leader. 


But before passing on to this most important question — 
that of the attitude of the proletariat towards the non- 
proletarian working people — we must deal with the armed 

* It is interesting to note that the above figures also reveal the 
unity and solidarity of the party of the proletariat and the extremely 
fragmented state of the parties of the petty bourgeoisie and of the 



The flower of the people's forces went to form the army 
during the imperialist war; the opportunist scoundrels of the 
Second International (not only the social-chauvinists, i.e., 
the Scheidemanns and Renaudels who directly went over 
to the side of "defence of the fatherland", but also the Cen- 
trists 77 ) by their words and deeds strengthened the subordi- 
nation of the armed forces to the leadership of the imperialist 
robbers of both the German and Anglo-French groups, 
but the real proletarian revolutionaries never forgot what 
Marx said in 1870: "The bourgeoisie will give the proletariat 
practice in arms!" 78 Only the Austro-German and Anglo- 
Franco-Russian betrayers of socialism could talk about 
"defence of the fatherland" in the imperialist war, i.e., a 
war that was predatory on both sides; the proletarian revo- 
lutionaries, however (from August 1914 onwards), turned all 
their attention to revolutionising the armed forces, to 
utilising them against the imperialist robber bourgeoisie, to 
converting the unjust and predatory war between the two 
groups of imperialist predators into a just and legitimate 
war of the proletarians and oppressed working people 
in each country against "their own", "national" bour- 

During 1914-17 the betrayers of socialism did not make 
preparations to use the armed forces against the imperialist 
government of each nation. 

The Bolsheviks prepared for this by the whole of their 
propaganda, agitation and underground organisational work 
from August 1914 onwards. Of course, the betrayers of social- 
ism, the Scheidemanns and Kautskys of all nations, got out 
of this by talking about the demoralisation of the armed 
forces by Bolshevik agitation, but we are proud of the fact 
that we performed our duty in demoralising the forces of 
our class enemy, in winning away from him the armed masses 
of the workers and peasants for the struggle against the 

The results of our work were seen in, among other things, 
the votes polled in the Constituent Assembly elections in 
November 1917, in which, in Russia, the armed forces also 

The following are the principal results of the voting as 
given by N. V. Svyatitsky: 


Number of Votes Polled in the Constituent Assembly Elections, 

November 1917 

( tJimiQffYiriQ\ 

\LILU U/OU/tlLlo ) 


Army and Navy 




and other 




Northern Front 












South-Western " 












Caucasian " 





Baltic Fleet 



Black Sea Fleet 











+ (120.0)* 





Summary: the Socialist-Revolutionaries polled 1,885,100 
votes; the Bolsheviks polled 1,671,300 votes. If to the lat- 
ter we add the 120,000 votes (approximately) polled in the 
Baltic Fleet, the total votes polled by the Bolsheviks will 
be 1,791,300. 

The Bolsheviks, therefore, polled a little less than the 

And so, by October-November 1917, the armed forces were 
half Bolshevik. 

If that had not been the case we could not have been 

We polled nearly half the votes of the armed forces as 
a whole, but had an overwhelming majority on the fronts 
nearest to the metropolitan cities and, in general, on those 
not too far away. If we leave out the Caucasian Front, the 
Bolsheviks obtained on the whole a majority over the 
Socialist-Revolutionaries. And if we take the Northern and 
Western fronts, the votes polled by the Bolsheviks will 
amount to over one million, compared with 420,000 votes 
polled by the Socialist-Revolutionaries. 

* The figure is Approximate. Two Bolsheviks were elected. 
N. V. Svyatitsky counts an average of 60,000 votes per elected person. 
That is why I give the figure 120,000. 

** No information is given as to which party polled 19,500 votes 
in the Black Sea Fleet. The other figures in this column evidently 
apply almost entirely to the Ukrainian socialists for 10 Ukrainian 
socialists and one Social-Democrat (i.e., a Menshevik) were elected. 



Thus, in the armed forces, too, the Bolsheviks already 
had a political "striking force", by November 1917, which 
ensured them an overwhelming superiority of forces at the 
decisive point at the decisive moment. Resistance on the 
part of the armed forces to the October Revolution of the 
proletariat, to the winning of political power by the prole- 
tariat, was entirely out of the question, considering that the 
Bolsheviks had an enormous majority on the Northern and 
Western fronts, while on the other fronts, far removed from 
the centre, the Bolsheviks had the time and opportunity to 
win the peasants away from the Socialist-Revolutionary Party. 
With this we shall deal later. 


On the basis of the returns of the Constituent Assembly 
elections we have studied the three conditions which 
determined the victory of Bolshevism: (1) an overwhelming 
majority among the proletariat; (2) almost half of the 
armed forces; (3) an overwhelming superiority of forces at the 
decisive moment at the decisive points, namely: in Petrograd 
and Moscow and on the war fronts near the centre. 

But these conditions could have ensured only a very 
short-lived and unstable victory had the Bolsheviks been 
unable to win to their side the majority of the non- 
proletarian working masses, to win them from the Socialist- 
Revolutionaries and the other petty-bourgeois parties. 

That is the main thing. 

And the chief reason why the "socialists" (read: petty- 
bourgeois democrats) of the Second International fail to 
understand the dictatorship of the proletariat is that they 
fail to understand that 

state power in the hands of one class, the proletariat, can 
and must become an instrument for winning to the side of 
the proletariat the non-proletarian working masses, an 
instrument for winning those masses from the bourgeoisie 
and from the petty -bourgeois parties. 
Filled with petty-bourgeois prejudices, forgetting the 
most important thing in the teachings of Marx about the 
state, the "socialists" of the Second International regard state 
power as something holy, as an idol, or as the result of for- 
mal voting, the absolute of "consistent democracy" (or what- 


ever else they call this nonsense). They fail to see that state 
power is simply an instrument which different classes can 
and must use (and know how to use) for their class aims. 

The bourgeoisie has used state power as an instrument 
of the capitalist class against the proletariat, against all 
the working people. That has been the case in the most demo- 
cratic bourgeois republics. Only the betrayers of Marxism 
have "forgotten" this. 

The proletariat must (after mustering sufficiently strong 
political and military "striking forces") overthrow the 
bourgeoisie, take state power from it in order to use that 
instrument for its class aims. 

What are the class aims of the proletariat? 

Suppress the resistance of the bourgeoisie; 

Neutralise the peasantry and, if possible, win them 
over — at any rate the majority of the labouring, non- 
exploiting section — to the side of the proletariat; 

Organise large-scale machine production, using factories, 
and means of production in general, expropriated from the 

Organise socialism on the ruins of capitalism. 

* * 

In mockery of the teachings of Marx, those gentlemen, 
the opportunists, including the Kautskyites, "teach" the peo- 
ple that the proletariat must first win a majority by means 
of universal suffrage, then obtain state power, by the vote 
of that majority, and only after that, on the basis of "con- 
sistent" (some call it "pure") democracy, organise socialism. 

But we say on the basis of the teachings of Marx and 
the experience of the Russian revolution: 

the proletariat must first overthrow the bourgeoisie and 
win for itself state power, and then use that state power, 
that is, the dictatorship of the proletariat, as an instrument 
of its class for the purpose of winning the sympathy of the 
majority of the working people. 

* * 



How can state power in the hands of the proletariat 
become the instrument of its class struggle for influence over 
the non-proletarian working people, of the struggle to draw 
them to its side, to win them over, to wrest them from the 

First, the proletariat achieves this not by putting into 
operation the old apparatus of state power, but by smashing 
it to pieces, levelling it with the ground (in spite of the howls 
of frightened philistines and the threats of saboteurs) and 
building a new state apparatus. That new state apparatus is 
adapted to the dictatorship of the proletariat and to its strug- 
gle against the bourgeoisie to win the non-proletarian working 
people. That new apparatus is not anybody's invention, it 
grows out of the proletarian class struggle as that struggle 
becomes more widespread and intense. That new apparatus 
of state power, the new type of state power, is Soviet power. 

The Russian proletariat, immediately, a few hours after 
winning state power, proclaimed the dissolution of the old 
state apparatus (which, as Marx showed, had been for centu- 
ries adapted to serve the class interests of the bourgeoisie, 
even in the most democratic republic 79 ) and transferred 
all power to the Soviets; and only the working and exploited 
people could enter the Soviets, all exploiters of every kind 
were excluded. 

In that way the proletariat at once, at one stroke, imme- 
diately after it had taken state power, won from the bour- 
geoisie the vast mass of its supporters in the petty-bourgeois 
and "socialist" parties; for that mass, the working and ex- 
ploited people who had been deceived by the bourgeoisie (and 
by its yes-men, the Chernovs, Kautskys, Martovs and Co.), 
on obtaining Soviet power, acquired, for the first time, an 
instrument of mass struggle for their interests against the 

Secondly, the proletariat can, and must, at once, or at 
all events very quickly, win from the bourgeoisie and from 
petty-bourgeois democrats "their" masses, i.e., the masses 
which follow them — win them by satisfying their most 
urgent economic needs in a revolutionary way by expropriating 
the landowners and the bourgeoisie. 

The bourgeoisie cannot do that, no matter how "mighty" 
its state power may be. 


The proletariat can do that on the very next day after 
it has won state power, because for this it has both an 
apparatus (the Soviets) and economic means (the expropria- 
tion of the landowners and the bourgeoisie). 

That is exactly how the Russian proletariat won the peas- 
antry from the Socialist-Revolutionaries, and won them 
literally a few hours after achieving state power; a few 
hours after the victory over the bourgeoisie in Petrograd, 
the victorious proletariat issued a "decree on land", 80 and 
in that decree it entirely, at once, with revolutionary swift- 
ness, energy and devotion, satisfied all the most urgent eco- 
nomic needs of the majority of the peasants, it expropriated 
the landowners, entirely and without compensation. 

To prove to the peasants that the proletarians did not 
want to steam-roller them, did not want to boss them, but 
to help them and be their friends, the victorious Bolsheviks 
did not put a single word of their own into that "decree on 
land", but copied it, word for word, from the peasant 
mandates (the most revolutionary of them, of course) which 
the Socialist-Revolutionaries had published in the Socialist- 
Revolutionary newspaper. 

The Socialist-Revolutionaries fumed and raved, protested 
and howled that "the Bolsheviks had stolen their programme", 
but they were only laughed at for that; a fine party, 
indeed, which had to be defeated and driven from the govern- 
ment in order that everything in its programme that was 
revolutionary and of benefit to the working people could be 
carried out! 

The traitors, blockheads and pedants of the Second 
International could never understand such dialectics; the 
proletariat cannot achieve victory if it does not win the ma- 
jority of the population to its side. But to limit that winning 
to polling a majority of votes in an election under the rule of 
the bourgeoisie, or to make it the condition for it, is crass 
stupidity, or else sheer deception of the workers. In order to 
win the majority of the population to its side the proletariat 
must, in the first place, overthrow the bourgeoisie and seize 
state power; secondly, it must introduce Soviet power and 
completely smash the old state apparatus, whereby it imme- 
diately undermines the rule, prestige and influence of the 
bourgeoisie and petty-bourgeois compromisers over the non- 



proletarian working people. Thirdly, it must entirely 
destroy the influence of the bourgeoisie and petty-bourgeois 
compromisers over the majority of the non-proletarian 
masses by satisfying their economic needs in a revolutionary 
way at the expense of the exploiters. 

It is possible to do this, of course, only when capitalist 
development has reached a certain level. Failing that fun- 
damental condition, the proletariat cannot develop into a 
separate class, nor can success be achieved in its prolonged 
training, education, instruction and trial in battle during 
long years of strikes and demonstrations when the oppor- 
tunists are disgraced and expelled. Failing that fundamental 
condition, the centres will not play that economic and po- 
litical role which enables the proletariat, after their capture, 
to lay hold of state power in its entirety, or more correctly, 
of its vital nerve, its core, its node. Failing that fundamental 
condition, there cannot be the kinship, closeness and bond 
between the position of the proletariat and that of the non- 
proletarian working people which (kinship, closeness and 
bond) are necessary for the proletariat to influence those 
masses, for its influence over them to be effective. 


Let us proceed further. 

The proletariat can win state power, establish the Soviet 
system, and satisfy the economic needs of the majority of 
the working people at the expense of the exploiters. 

Is that sufficient for achieving complete and final victory? 
No, it is not. 

The petty-bourgeois democrats, their chief present-day 
representatives, the "socialists" and "Social-Democrats", 
are suffering from illusions when they imagine that the 
working people are capable, under capitalism, of acquiring 
the high degree of class-consciousness, firmness of character, 
perception and wide political outlook that will enable them 
to decide, merely by voting, or at all events, to decide in 
advance, without long experience of struggle, that they will 
follow a particular class, or a particular party. 

It is a mere illusion. It is a sentimental story invented by 
pedants and sentimental socialists of the Kautsky, Longuet 
and MacDonald type. 


Capitalism would not be capitalism if it did not, on the 
one hand, condemn the masses to a downtrodden, crushed 
and terrified state of existence, to disunity (the country- 
side!) and ignorance, and if it (capitalism) did not, on the 
other hand, place in the hands of the bourgeoisie a gigantic 
apparatus of falsehood and deception to hoodwink the masses 
of workers and peasants, to stultify their minds, and so 

That is why only the proletariat can lead the working 
people out of capitalism to communism. It is no use think- 
ing that the petty-bourgeois or semi-petty-bourgeois masses 
can decide in advance the extremely complicated political 
question: "to be with the working class or with the bour- 
geoisie". The vacillation of the non-proletarian sections 
of the working people is inevitable; and inevitable also is 
their own practical experience, which will enable them to 
compare leadership by the bourgeoisie with leadership by the 

This is the circumstance that is constantly lost sight of by 
those who worship "consistent democracy" and who imagine 
that extremely important political problems can be solved 
by voting. Such problems are actually solved by civil war 
if they are acute and aggravated by struggle, and the 
experience of the non-proletarian masses (primarily of the 
peasants), their experience of comparing the rule of the 
proletariat with the rule of the bourgeoisie, is of tremendous 
importance in that war. 

The Constituent Assembly elections in Russia in Novem- 
ber 1917, compared with the two-year Civil War of 1917-19, 
are highly instructive in this respect. 

See which districts proved to be the least Bolshevik. 
First, the East-Urals and the Siberian where the Bolshe- 
viks polled 12 per cent and 10 per cent of the votes respec- 
tively. Secondly, the Ukraine where the Bolsheviks polled 
10 per cent of the votes. Of the other districts, the Bolshe- 
viks polled the smallest percentage of votes in the peasant 
district of Great Russia, the Volga-Black Earth district, 
but even there the Bolsheviks polled 16 per cent of the votes. 

It was precisely in the districts where the Bolsheviks 
polled the lowest percentage of votes in November 1917 that 
the counter-revolutionary movements, the revolts and the 



organisation of counter-revolutionary forces had the great- 
est success. It was precisely in those districts that the rule 
of Kolchak and Denikin lasted for months and months. 

The vacillation of the petty-bourgeois population was 
particularly marked in those districts where the influence 
of the proletariat is weakest. Vacillation was at first in 
favour of the Bolsheviks when they granted land and when 
the demobilised soldiers brought the news about peace; 
later — against the Bolsheviks when, to promote the inter- 
national development of the revolution and to protect its 
centre in Russia, they agreed to sign the Treaty of Brest and 
thereby "offended" patriotic sentiments, the deepest of petty- 
bourgeois sentiments. The dictatorship of the proletariat 
was particularly displeasing to the peasants in those places 
where there were the largest stocks of surplus grain, when the 
Bolsheviks showed that they would strictly and firmly 
secure the transfer of those surplus stocks to the state at fixed 
prices. The peasants in the Urals, Siberia and the Ukraine 
turned to Kolchak and Denikin. 

Further, the experience of Kolchak and Denikin "democ- 
racy", about which every hack writer in Kolchakia and Deni- 
kia snouted in every issue of the whiteguard newspapers, 
showed the peasants that phrases about democracy and about 
the "Constituent Assembly" serve only as a screen to conceal 
the dictatorship of the landowners and capitalists. 

Another turn towards Bolshevism began and peasant 
revolts spread in the rear of Kolchak and Denikin. The 
peasants welcomed the Red troops as liberators. 

In the long run, it was this vacillation of the peasantry, 
the main body of the petty-bourgeois working people, that 
decided the fate of Soviet rule and of the rule of Kolchak 
and Denikin. But this "long run" was preceded by a fairly 
lengthy period of severe struggle and painful trial, which 
have not ended in Russia after two years, have not ended 
precisely in Siberia and in the Ukraine. And there is no 
guarantee that they will end completely within, say, another 
year or so. 

The supporters of "consistent" democracy have not given 
thought to the importance of this historic fact. They invent- 
ed, and are still inventing, nursery tales about the prole- 
tariat under capitalism being able to "convince" the majority 


of the working people and win them firmly to its side by vot- 
ing. But reality shows that only in the course of a long 
and fierce struggle does the stern experience of the 
vacillating petty bourgeoisie lead it to the conclusion, after 
comparing the dictatorship of the proletariat with the 
dictatorship of the capitalists, that the former is better 
than the latter. 

In theory, all socialists who have studied Marxism and 
are willing to take into account the lessons of the nineteenth- 
century political history of the advanced countries recognise 
that the vacillation of the petty bourgeoisie between the 
proletariat and the capitalist class is inevitable. The eco- 
nomic roots of this vacillation are clearly revealed by econom- 
ic science, the truths of which have been repeated millions 
of times in the newspapers, leaflets and pamphlets issued by 
the socialists of the Second International. 

But these people cannot apply those truths to the peculiar 
epoch of the dictatorship of the proletariat. They substitute 
petty-bourgeois-democratic prejudices and illusions (about 
class "equality", about "consistent" or "pure' democracy, 
about solving great historic problems by voting, and so 
forth) for the class struggle. They will not understand that 
after capturing state power the proletariat does not thereby 
cease its class struggle, but continues it in a different form 
and by different means. The dictatorship of the proletariat is 
the class struggle of the proletariat conducted with the aid 
of an instrument like state power, a class struggle, one of 
whose aims is to demonstrate to the non-proletarian sections 
of the working people by means of their long experience and 
a long list of practical examples that it is more to their 
advantage to side with the dictatorship of the proletariat than 
with the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, and that there can 
be no third course. 

The returns of the Constituent Assembly elections held 
in November 1917 give us the main background to the picture 
of the development of the Civil War that has raged for two 
years since those elections. The main forces in that war 
were already clearly evident during the Constituent Assembly 
elections — the role of the "striking force" of the proletarian 
army, the role of the vacillating peasantry, and the role of 
the bourgeoisie were already apparent. In his article 



N .V. Svyatitsky writes: "The Cadets were most successful in the 
same regions where the Bolsheviks were most successful — in the 
Northern and Central-Industrial regions" (p. 116). Natural- 
ly, in the most highly developed capitalist centres, the inter- 
mediary elements standing between the proletariat and the 
bourgeoisie were the weakest. Naturally, in those centres, 
the class struggle was most acute. It was there that the main 
forces of the bourgeoisie were concentrated and there, only 
there, could the proletariat defeat the bourgeoisie. Only the 
proletariat could rout the bourgeoisie, and only after rout- 
ing the bourgeoisie could the proletariat definitely win the 
sympathy and support of the petty-bourgeois strata of the 
population by using an instrument like state power. 

If properly used, if correctly read, the returns of the 
Constituent Assembly elections reveal to us again and again 
the fundamental truths of the Marxist doctrine of the class 

These returns, incidentally, also reveal the role and impor- 
tance of the national question. Take the Ukraine. At the 
last conferences on the Ukrainian question some comrades 
accused the writer of these lines of giving too much "promi- 
nence" to the national question in the Ukraine. The returns 
of the Constituent Assembly elections show that in the 
Ukraine, as early as November 1917, the Ukrainian Socialist- 
Revolutionaries and socialists polled a majority (3.4 million 
votes + 0.5 = 3.9 million against 1.9 million polled by 
the Russian Socialist-Revolutionaries, out of a total poll 
in the whole of the Ukraine of 7.6 million votes). In the army 
on the South-Western and Rumanian fronts the Ukrainian 
socialists polled 30 per cent and 34 per cent of the total votes 
(the Russian Socialist-Revolutionaries polled 40 per cent 
and 59 per cent). 

Under these circumstances, to ignore the importance of 
the national question in the Ukraine — a sin of which Great 
Russians are often guilty (and of which the Jews are guilty 
perhaps only a little less often than the Great Russians) — 
is a great and dangerous mistake. The division between the 
Russian and Ukrainian Socialist-Revolutionaries as early as 
1917 could not have been accidental. As internationalists 
it is our duty, first, to combat very vigorously the survivals 
(sometimes unconscious) of Great-Russian imperialism and 


chauvinism among "Russian" Communists; and secondly, 
it is our duty, precisely on the national question, which is 
a relatively minor one (for an internationalist the question 
of state frontiers is a secondary, if not a tenth-rate, question), 
to make concessions. There are other questions — the funda- 
mental interests of the proletarian dictatorship; the interests 
of the unity and discipline of the Red Army which is fighting 
Denikin; the leading role of the proletariat in relation to the 
peasantry — that are more important; the question whether 
the Ukraine will be a separate state is far less important. We 
must not be in the least surprised, or frightened, even by the 
prospect of the Ukrainian workers and peasants trying out 
different systems, and in the course of, say, several years, 
testing by practice union with the R.S.F.S.R., or seceding 
from the latter and forming an independent Ukrainian S.S.R., 
or various forms of their close alliance, and so on, and so 

To attempt to settle this question in advance, once and for 
all, "firmly" and "irrevocably", would be narrow-mindedness 
or sheer stupidity, for the vacillation of the non-proletarian 
working people on such a question is quite natural, even 
inevitable, but not in the least frightful for the proletariat. It 
is the duty of the proletarian who is really capable of being 
an internationalist to treat such vacillation with the greatest 
caution and tolerance, it is his duty to leave it to the non- 
proletarian masses themselves to get rid of this vacillation as 
a result of their own experience. We must be intolerant and 
ruthless, uncompromising and inflexible on other, more 
fundamental questions, some of which I have already 
pointed to above. 


The comparison of the Constituent Assembly elections in 
November 1917 with the development of the proletarian 
revolution in Russia from October 1917 to December 1919 
enables us to draw conclusions concerning bourgeois parlia- 
mentarism and the proletarian revolution in every capital- 
ist country. Let me try briefly to formulate, or at least to 
outline, the principal conclusions. 

1. Universal suffrage is an index of the level reached by 
the various classes in their understanding of their problems. 



It shows how the various classes are inclined to solve their 
problems. The actual solution of those problems is not 
provided by voting, but by the class struggle in all its forms 
including civil war. 

2. The socialists and Social-Democrats of the Second 
International take the stand of vulgar petty-bourgeois 
democrats and share the prejudice that the fundamental 
problems of the class struggle can be solved by voting. 

3. The party of the revolutionary proletariat must take 
part in bourgeois parliaments in order to enlighten the 
masses; this can be done during elections and in the struggle 
between parties in parliament. But limiting the class 
struggle to the parliamentary struggle, or regarding the 
latter as the highest and decisive form, to which all the 
other forms of struggle are subordinate, is actually desertion 
to the side of the bourgeoisie against the proletariat. 

4. All the representatives and supporters of the Second 
International, and all the leaders of the German, so-called 
"independent", Social-Democratic Party, actually go over to 
the bourgeoisie in this way when they recognise the dicta- 
torship of the proletariat in words, but in deeds, by their 
propaganda, imbue the proletariat with the idea that it 
must first obtain a formal expression of the will of the 
majority of the population under capitalism (i.e., a majority 
of votes in the bourgeois parliament) to transfer political 
power to the proletariat, which transfer is to take place 

All the cries, based on this premise, of the German "inde- 
pendent" Social-Democrats and similar leaders of decayed 
socialism against the "dictatorship of a minority", and so 
forth, merely indicate that those leaders fail to understand 
the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, which actually reigns 
even in the most democratic republics, and that they fail to 
understand the conditions for its destruction by the class 
struggle of the proletariat. 

5. This failure to understand consists, in particular, in 
the following: they forget that, to a very large degree, 
the bourgeois parties are able to rule because they deceive 
the masses of the people, because of the yoke of capital, 
and to this is added self-deception concerning the nature of 
capitalism, a self-deception which is characteristic mostly 


of the petty-bourgeois parties, which usually want to sub- 
stitute more or less disguised forms of class conciliation 
for the class struggle. 

"First let the majority of the population, while private 
property still exists, i.e., while the rule and yoke of capital 
still exist, express themselves in favour of the party of the 
proletariat and only then can and should the party take 
power" — so say the petty-bourgeois democrats who call 
themselves socialists but who are in reality the servitors of 
the bourgeoisie. 

"Let the revolutionary proletariat first overthrow the 
bourgeoisie, break the yoke of capital, and smash the bour- 
geois state apparatus, then the victorious proletariat will 
be able rapidly to gain the sympathy and support of the 
majority of the non-proletarian working people by satisfying 
their needs at the expense of the exploiters" — say we. The 
opposite will be rare exception in history (and even in such 
an exception the bourgeoisie can resort to civil war, as the 
example of Finland showed 81 ). 

6. Or in other words: 

"First we shall pledge ourselves to recognise the prin- 
ciple of equality, or consistent democracy, while preserving 
private property and the yoke of capital (i.e., actual inequali- 
ty under formal equality), and try to obtain the decision 
of the majority on this basis" — say the bourgeoisie and 
their yes-men, the petty-bourgeois democrats who call 
themselves socialists and Social-Democrats. 

"First the proletarian class struggle, winning state power, 
will destroy the pillars and foundations of actual inequality, 
and then the proletariat, which has defeated the exploiters, 
will lead all working people to the abolition of classes, i.e., 
to socialist equality, the only kind that is not a deception" — 
say we. 

7. In all capitalist countries, besides the proletariat, or 
that part of the proletariat which is conscious of its revo- 
lutionary aims and is capable of fighting to achieve them, 
there are numerous politically immature proletarian, semi- 
proletarian, semi-petty-bourgeois strata which follow the 
bourgeoisie and bourgeois democracy (including the 
"socialists" of the Second International) because they have 
been deceived, have no confidence in their own strength, or 



in the strength of the proletariat, are unaware of the possi- 
bility of having their urgent needs satisfied by means of 
the expropriation of the exploiters. 

These strata of the working and exploited people provide 
the vanguard of the proletariat with allies and give it a 
stable majority of the population; but the proletariat can 
win these allies only with the aid of an instrument like 
state power, that is to say, only after it has overthrown 
the bourgeoisie and has destroyed the bourgeois state 

8. The strength of the proletariat in any capitalist country 
is far greater than the proportion it represents of the total 
population. That is because the proletariat economically 
dominates the centre and nerve of the entire economic 
system of capitalism, and also because the proletariat ex- 
presses economically and politically the real interests of the 
overwhelming majority of the working people under capi- 

Therefore, the proletariat, even when it constitutes a 
minority of the population (or when the class-conscious and 
really revolutionary vanguard of the proletariat constitutes 
a minority of the population), is capable of overthrowing 
the bourgeoisie and, after that, of winning to its side numer- 
ous allies from a mass of semi-proletarians and petty bour- 
geoisie who never declare in advance in favour of the rule of 
the proletariat, who do not understand the conditions and 
aims of that rule, and only by their subsequent experience 
become convinced that the proletarian dictatorship is 
inevitable, proper and legitimate. 

9. Finally, in every capitalist country there are always 
very broad strata of the petty bourgeoisie which inevitably 
vacillate between capital and labour. To achieve victory, 
the proletariat must, first, choose the right moment for its 
decisive assault on the bourgeoisie, taking into account, 
among other things, the disunity between the bourgeoisie 
and its petty-bourgeois allies, or the instability of their 
alliance, and so forth. Secondly, the proletariat must, after 
its victory, utilise this vacillation of the petty bourgeoisie in 
such a way as to neutralise them, prevent their siding with 
the exploiters; it must be able to hold on for some time 
in spite of this vacillation, and so on, and so forth. 


10. One of the necessary conditions for preparing the 
proletariat for its victory is a long, stubborn and ruthless 
struggle against opportunism, reformism, social-chauvinism, 
and similar bourgeois influences and trends, which are 
inevitable, since the proletariat is operating in a capitalist 
environment. If there is no such struggle, if opportunism 
in the working-class movement is not utterly defeated 
beforehand, there can be no dictatorship of the proletariat. 
Bolshevism would not have defeated the bourgeoisie in 
1917-19 if before that, in 1903-17, it had not learned to de- 
feat the Mensheviks, i.e., the opportunists, reformists, social- 
chauvinists, and ruthlessly expel them from the party of 
the proletarian vanguard. 

At the present time, the verbal recognition of the dic- 
tatorship of the proletariat by the leaders of the German 
"Independents", or by the French Longuetists, 82 and the 
like, who are actually continuing the old, habitual policy of 
big and small concessions to and conciliation with opportun- 
ism, subservience to the prejudices of bourgeois democracy 
("consistent democracy" or "pure democracy" as they call it) 
and bourgeois parliamentarism, and so forth, is the most 
dangerous self-deception — and sometimes sheer fooling of 
the workers. 

December 16, 1919 

Published in December 1919 

Published according to 
the manuscript 



Greetings to the working-class and peasant youth of 
Petrograd Gubernia on the occasion of their communist 
labour week. 

Intensify your work in this field, my young comrades, 
so that you can apply your fresh, young forces to the building 
of a new and brighter life. 

V. Ulyanov {Lenin) 

Smena No. 1, 
December 18, 1919 

Published according to 
the Smena text 


DECEMBER 19, 1919 

Comrades, we are gathered here today to celebrate the 
anniversary of the December uprising in Moscow and the 
battle that took place in Presnya District fourteen years ago. 

Comrades, the 1905 insurrection in Moscow was one of 
the greatest movements by Russian worker revolutionaries 
and although it could not have been a success at that time it 
was nevertheless of tremendous significance. It is only today, 
when we have before us a picture of the many years of 
historical preparatory work for the Russian revolution, that 
we can properly appreciate the significance of the December 
uprising in 1905 and of the battles that the workers of Red 
Presnya then fought against the forces of tsarism. Comrades, 
we now see clearly how insignificant the forces of the Russian 
workers then were; and we see that the sacrifices made at 
that time have been repaid a hundredfold. 

I must say, however, that in December 1905, tsarism had 
to muster all its forces in order to suppress the still weak, 
embryonic revolt of the workers. The Moscow organisation 
of our Party has recently published two collections of 
reminiscences of the December insurrection, the events in 
Presnya, and about the way the weak underground Party 
organisation of that time prepared the insurrection and about 
the tremendous enthusiasm with which not only factory 
workers, but all the working people of Moscow supported 
it. Among these newly published articles there is a parti- 
cularly interesting one by a gendarme and police officer 



which admits that the revolutionaries in December 1905 
still did not know how weak they, the supporters of tsarism, 
were at that time. "If the blow struck by the revolutionaries 
had been a little more powerful and had lasted a little 
longer," admits this servant of the tsar, "we should not have 
been able to hold out, with the disorder that was beginning 
to make itself felt among us." This admission, made by a 
member of the secret police, is especially interesting; it 
shows that the sacrifices made by the workers of Presnya in 
the cause of freedom and the emancipation of the workers 
were not made in vain, that even then their heroic example 
demonstrated the strength of the working class to all enemies 
and at the same time ignited those millions of sparks that 
later, in a long and toilsome manner, over a period of many 
years, burst into flame and produced the victorious revolution. 

After 1905 the working-class movement in Russia expe- 
rienced the most difficult and bloody period of its history. 
Tsarism showed unprecedented brutality in dealing with 
the heroes who revolted in Moscow in 1905. After the sup- 
pression of the Moscow uprising the working class of Russia 
made several more attempts to rise to the level of a mass 
struggle. In the spring of 1906 there were mass strikes and 
the beginnings of a peasant movement; in 1907 another 
attempt was made — these attempts, however, could only 
slow down the forces of reaction but were unable to check 
them. And long years passed during which the movement was 
forced to hide in the underground, when hundreds and 
thousands of the sons of the working class perished on the 
gallows, in prisons, in exile and in penal colonies. 

Then we saw that in 1910, 1911 and 1912 the working 
class again began to muster its forces and we saw how, after 
the Lena massacre in April 1912, a wave of powerful mass 
strikes began to rise which spread from one end of the country 
to the other and gave tsarism such a jolt that by the summer 
of 1914 events went as far as barricades in Petrograd; it is 
possible that one of the reasons accelerating the tsarist 
government's desperate decision to start the war was their 
hope of crushing the revolutionary movement in that way. 
Instead of crushing it, however, the war was the cause of 
the revolutionary movement spreading to all advanced coun- 



As we can see clearly enough, the four-year war was 
carried on by predators, not only by German but also by 
British and French imperialism, for the purpose of plunder. 
When the Germans, in 1918, imposed the plundering Treaty 
of Brest-Litovsk upon us, there was no end to the shouts 
disapproving of that treaty in France and Britain, and when 
a year later, in that same year of 1918, Germany was defeated 
and the German Empire collapsed, the French and 
British capitalists then imposed the Treaty of Versailles on 
conquered Germany; this is now an example of measures 
still more brutal, more violent, than we had at Brest- 

We now see how, week by week, the eyes of hundreds, 
thousands and millions of workers in France, Britain and 
America are being opened; they were duped and were assured 
that the~ were fighting a war against German imperialism 
and they have now seen that millions of people were killed 
and maimed in that war. And for what? For the enrichment 
of an insignificant handful of millionaires who since the war 
have become multimillionaires and who have brought all 
countries to the brink of ruin. 

Comrades, we are living in difficult times insofar as con- 
cerns the misfortunes that have overtaken the industrial, 
especially the urban, workers. You know how difficult this 
situation is and how hungry and cold our working class is. 
And we also know that not only backward Russia who was 
torn by war for four years and after that has had for another 
two years to pursue a war imposed on her with the help of 
Britain and France — Russia was not the only country that 
has been ruined, but the most advanced and wealthy coun- 
tries, the victor countries such as, for instance, France and 
the U.S.A., have also been brought to the brink of ruin. 
They are experiencing a coal crisis, they have to curtail the 
railway services because their industry and transport were 
crushed and ruined to an unparalleled degree by four years 
of war. Huge productive forces were destroyed in 
that imperialist war and we see as a result that the road 
which the Russian working class showed all workers, 
showed the whole world as far back as 1905 when it revolted 
against tsarism, the path which was followed by the Russian 
working class when it overthrew the bourgeoisie — that path 



is now attracting the attention and winning the sympathy 
of workers of all, even the most advanced, countries. 

I have already said, comrades, that this winter we 
have to endure unparalleled hardships and calamities. We 
say to ourselves, however, that we shall stand firm to the 
end, because the best of the workers, the most politically- 
conscious workers and peasants, have, despite all calamities 
and hardships, been helping us, helping us by forming the 
Red Army which is bringing us to final victory. We know 
that now that Kolchak's forces have been completely routed 
and the recent revolts in Siberia have seemingly deprived 
the remnants of Kolchak's army of the possibility of joining 
up with Denikin, and now that huge military forces have 
been captured at Novo-Nikolayevsk, there is obviously no 
longer Kolchak's army. In the South, where Denikin was 
able to boast of his successes, we now see the steadily grow- 
ing offensive of our Red Army. You know that Kiev, 
Poltava and Kharkov have been captured and our advance 
on the Donets Basin, the source of coal supplies, is proceed- 
ing at an extremely rapid rate. 

We therefore see, comrades, that all those terrible mis- 
fortunes which the working class has borne for the sake of 
our full victory over capital, all the sacrifices that have 
been made are now bringing good results. We see that capi- 
talists abroad who have, until now, been handing out 
millions of rubles and every kind of war materiel, first to 
Kolchak, and then to Yudenich and Denikin, are now begin- 
ning to hesitate. 

You know that they cut Russia off from other countries 
by the iron ring of the blockade and you know that they 
did not let our representatives go to other countries. You 
know that Comrade Litvinov, one of the revolutionaries who 
fought with the Bolsheviks against tsarism even before 
1905, was our Ambassador to Great Britain and that there 
was not a workers' meeting that did not greet him with 
such applause and with such stormy protests against their 
own government, that the British went to the trouble of 
deporting him. Today, those people who hate Litvinov so 
heartily have given him permission to go to Copenhagen, and 
not merely permission, but also the means (Comrade Litvi- 
nov arrived there on a British cruiser). We also know that 



every day of Comrade Litvinov's stay in Copenhagen is an 
ever greater victory for Russia. Workers' representatives and 
the correspondents of thousands of bourgeois newspapers are 
constantly approaching him for an explanation of the change 
that has taken place. We know that the change has come 
because the Western bourgeoisie can no longer keep up the 
blockade and help the Russian counter-revolutionary gener- 
als with millions of rubles because the working class of 
each of those rich and advanced countries will not let them. 

Perhaps the most vivid expression of the turn that has 
come in the politics of the European countries is the voting 
of the deputies in the Italian chamber which we know of 
from the report sent by wireless from France to America 
and picked up by our wireless station. The report was this. 
When the question of Russia was discussed in the Italian 
chamber, and when the socialists proposed the immediate 
recognition of the Soviet Republic, a hundred voted for and 
two hundred against the proposal; that means that only the 
workers were in favour of recognising the Soviet Republic 
and all the bourgeois deputies rejected it. After that, how- 
ever, the Italian chamber passed a unanimous motion to the 
effect that the Italian Government approach the allies with 
a view to stop the blockade altogether and put an end to 
all intervention in Russian affairs. That was a decision 
adopted by a chamber that consists to the extent of two- 
thirds, if not three-quarters, of landowners and capitalists, 
that was adopted in one of the victor countries and that 
was adopted simply under pressure from the working-class 

The decision shows clearly that a real turning point in 
international politics is approaching and that the tremendous 
inner forces of the working-class movement of every country 
have actually brought about what we have always hoped 
for, which we told the workers of Russia would happen, 
and for the sake of which, we told them, it was worth while 
struggling and making heavy sacrifices, that the sacrifices 
would have to be made, so that the troubles and torments, 
the hunger and cold that we are suffering from will not have 
been in vain. In this way we are not merely saving Russia, 
we are winning the sympathy and support of millions and 
millions of workers of other countries with every week of 



struggle. That is why today, when we remember our com- 
rades who fell, the heroes of Red Presnya, the memory of 
them gives us greater enthusiasm and firm resolution to 
bring victory near. 

Despite all difficulties and all sacrifices we shall go 
forward ourselves and will lead the workers of all countries 
to full victory over capital. (Applause.) 

Brief report published 
December 20, 1919 
in Izvestia No. 286 

First published in full Published according to 

in the Fourth (Russian) the verbatim report 

Edition of the Collected 


OF THE R.C.P.(B.) 84 
DECEMBER 20, 1919 

Comrades, the organisers of the conference inform me that 
you have arranged for a report on subbotniks and divided it 
into two parts so that it would be possible to discuss the 
main thing in this field in detail; first, the organisation of 
subbotniks in Moscow and results achieved, and secondly, 
practical conclusions for their further organisation. I should 
like to confine myself to general propositions, to the ideas 
born of the organisation of subbotniks as a new phenomenon 
in our Party and governmental development. I shall, there- 
fore, dwell only briefly on the practical aspect. 

When the first communist subbotniks had just been 
organised it was difficult to judge to what extent such a phe- 
nomenon deserved attention and whether anything big would 
come of it. I remember that when the first news of them 
began to appear in the Party press, the appraisals of com- 
rades close to trade union organisational affairs and the 
Commissariat of Labour were at first extremely restrained, 
if not pessimistic. They did not think there were any grounds 
for regarding them as important. Since then subbotniks 
have become so widespread that their importance to our 
development cannot be disputed by anyone. 

We have actually been using the adjective "communist" 
very frequently, so frequently that we have even included 
it in the name of our Party. But when you give this matter 
some thought, you arrive at the idea that together with the 
good that has followed from this, a certain danger for us 



may have been created. Our chief reason for changing the 
name of the Party was the desire to draw a clear line of 
distinction between us and the dominant socialism of the 
Second International. After the overwhelming majority of 
the official socialist parties, through their leaders, had gone 
over to the side of the bourgeoisie of their own countries or 
of their own governments during the imperialist war, the 
tremendous crisis, the collapse of the old socialism, became 
obvious to us. And in order to stress as sharply as 
possible that we could not consider socialists those who 
took sides with their governments during the imperialist 
war, in order to show that the old socialism had gone rotten, 
had died — mainly for that reason the idea of changing the 
Party's name was put forward. This the more so, since the 
name of "Social-Democratic" has from the theoretical point 
of view long ceased to be correct. As far back as the forties, 
when it was first widely used politically in France, it was 
applied to a party professing petty-bourgeois socialist 
reformism and not to a party of the revolutionary prole- 
tariat. The main reason, the motive for changing the name 
of our Party which has given its new name to the new Inter- 
national was the desire to cut ourselves off decisively from 
the old socialism. 

If we were to ask ourselves in what way communism 
differs from socialism, we should have to say that socialism 
is the society that grows directly out of capitalism, it is 
the first form of the new society. Communism is a higher 
form of society, and can only develop when socialism has 
become firmly established. Socialism implies work without 
the aid of the capitalists, socialised labour with strict account- 
ing, control and supervision by the organised vanguard, the 
advanced section of the working people; the measure of 
labour and remuneration for it must be fixed. It is necessary 
to fix them because capitalist society has left behind such 
survivals and such habits as the fragmentation of labour, 
no confidence in social economy, and the old habits of the 
petty proprietor that dominate in all peasant countries. 
All this is contrary to real communist economy. We give 
the name of communism to the system under which people 
form the habit of performing their social duties without any 
special apparatus for coercion, and when unpaid work for 



the public good becomes a general phenomenon. It stands to 
reason that the concept of "communism" is a far too distant 
one for those who are taking the first steps towards complete 
victory over capitalism. No matter how correct it may have 
been to change the name of the Party, no matter how great 
the benefit the change has brought us, no matter how great 
the accomplishments of our cause and the scale on which it has 
developed — Communist Parties now exist throughout the 
world and although less than a year has passed since the 
foundation of the Communist International, 85 from the point 
of view of the labour movement it is incomparably stronger 
than the old, dying Second International — if the name 
"Communist Party" were interpreted to mean that the 
communist system is being introduced immediately, that 
would be a great distortion and would do practical harm 
since it would be nothing more than empty boasting. 

That is why the word "communist" must be treated with 
great caution, and that is why communist subbotniks that 
have begun to enter into our life are of particular value, 
because it is only in this extremely tiny phenomenon that 
something communist has begun to make its appearance. 
The expropriation of the landowners and capitalists enabled 
us to organise only the most primitive forms of socialism, 
and there is not yet anything communist in it. If we take our 
present-day economy we see that the germs of socialism in it 
are still very weak and that the old economic forms dominate 
overwhelmingly; these are expressed either as the domina- 
tion of petty proprietorship or as wild, uncontrolled 
profiteering. When our adversaries, the petty-bourgeois demo- 
crats, Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, assert in 
their objections to us that we have smashed large-scale 
capitalism but that the worst kind of profiteering, usury 
capitalism, persists in its place, we tell them that if they 
imagine that we can go straight from large-scale capital- 
ism to communism they are not revolutionaries but reform- 
ists and Utopians. 

Large-scale capitalism has been seriously undermined 
everywhere, even in those countries where no steps towards 
socialism have yet been taken. From this point of view, 
none of the criticisms or the objections levelled against 
us by our opponents are serious. Obviously the beginnings 



of a new, petty, profiteering capitalism began to make 
their appearance after large-scale capitalism had been 
crushed. We are living through a savage battle against the 
survivals of large-scale capitalism which grasps at every 
kind of petty speculation where it is difficult to counteract 
it and where it takes on the worst and most unorganised 
form of trading. 

The struggle has become much fiercer under war condi- 
tions and has led to the most brutal forms of profiteering, 
especially in places where capitalism was organised on a 
larger scale, and it would be quite incorrect to imagine 
that the revolutionary transition could have any other form. 
That is how matters stand in respect of our present-day 
economy. If we were to ask ourselves what the present economic 
system of Soviet Russia is, we should have to say that it 
consists in laying the foundations of socialism in large- 
scale industry, in reorganising the old capitalist economy 
with the capitalists putting up a stubborn resistance in 
millions and millions of different ways. The countries of 
Western Europe that have emerged from the war as badly off 
as we are — Austria, for instance — differ from us only in that 
the disintegration of capitalism and speculation are more 
pronounced there than in our country and that there are no 
germs of socialist organisation to offer resistance to capi- 
talism. There is, however, not yet anything communist in 
our economic system. The "communist" begins when subbot- 
niks (i.e., unpaid labour with no quota set by any authori- 
ty or any state) make their appearance; they constitute the 
labour of individuals on an extensive scale for the public 
good. This is not helping one's neighbour in the way that 
has always been customary in the countryside; it is work 
done to meet the needs of the country as a whole, and it is 
organised on a broad scale and is unpaid. It would, there- 
fore, be more correct if the word "communist" were applied 
not only to the name of the Party but also to those economic 
manifestations in our reality that are actually communist 
in character. If there is anything communist at all in the 
prevailing system in Russia, it is only the subbotniks, 
and everything else is nothing but the struggle against 
capitalism for the consolidation of socialism out of which, 
after the full victory of socialism, there should grow that 



communism that we see at subbotniks, not with the aid of a 
book, but in living reality. 

Such is the theoretical significance of subbotniks; they 
demonstrate that here something quite new is beginning 
to emerge in the form of unpaid labour, extensively organ- 
ised to meet the needs of the entire state, something that is 
contrary to all the old capitalist rules, something that 
is much more lofty than the socialist society that is con- 
quering capitalism. When the workers on the Moscow-Ka- 
zan Railway, people who were living under conditions of 
the worst famine and the greatest need, first responded to 
the appeal of the Central Committee of the Party to come 
to the aid of the country, 86 and when there appeared signs 
that communist subbotniks were no longer a matter of 
single cases but were spreading and meeting with the sym- 
pathy of the masses, we were able to say that they were a 
phenomenon of tremendous theoretical importance and that 
we really should afford them all-round support if we wanted 
to be Communists in more than mere theory, in more than 
the struggle against capitalism. From the point of view of 
the practical construction of a socialist society that is not 
enough. It must be said that the movement can really be 
developed on a mass scale. I do not undertake to say whether 
we have proved this since no general summaries of the extent 
of the movement we call communist subbotniks have yet 
been prepared. I have only fragmentary information and 
have read in the Party press that these subbotniks are devel- 
oping more and more widely in a number of towns. Petro- 
grad comrades say that subbotniks are far more widespread 
in their city than in Moscow. As far as the provinces are 
concerned many of the comrades who have a practical knowl- 
edge of this movement have told me that they are collect- 
ing a huge amount of material on this new form of social 
labour. However, we shall only be able to obtain summarised 
data after the question has been discussed many times 
in the press and at Party conferences in different cities; on 
the basis of those data we shall be able to say whether the 
subbotniks have really become a mass phenomenon, and 
whether we have really achieved important successes in 
this sphere. 



Whatever may be the case, whether or not we shall soon 
obtain that sort of complete and verified data, we should 
not doubt that from the theoretical point of view the subbot- 
niks are the only manifestation we have to show that we do 
not only call ourselves Communists, that we do not merely 
want to be Communists, but are actually doing something 
that is communist and not merely socialist. Every Commu- 
nist, therefore, everyone who wants to be true to the prin- 
ciples of communism should devote all his attention and 
all his efforts to the explanation of this phenomenon and 
to its practical implementation. That is the theoretical 
significance of the subbotniks. At every Party conference, 
therefore, we must persistently raise this question and dis- 
cuss both its theoretical and its practical aspect. We must 
not limit this phenomenon to its theoretical significance. 
Communist subbotniks are of tremendous importance to us 
not only because they are the practical implementation of 
communism. Apart from this, subbotniks have a double 
significance — from the standpoint of the state they are 
purely practical aid to the state, and from the standpoint 
of the Party — and for us, members of the Party, this must 
not remain in the shade — they have the significance of purg- 
ing the Party of undesirable elements and are of impor- 
tance in the struggle against the influences experienced by 
the Party at a time when capitalism is decaying. 

Brief report published 
in Izvestia No. 287, 
December 21, 1919 

First published in full in 1927 

Published according to 
the verbatim report 

^i^+t— 'y^*>* <~ ~C2^a^, 

First page of Lenin's manuscript 
"Letter to the Workers and Peasants 
of the Ukraine Apropos of the 
Victories over Denikin". December 28, 1919 





Comrades, four months ago, towards the end of August 
1919, I had occasion to address a letter to the workers and 
peasants in connection with the victory over Kolchak. 

I am now having this letter reprinted in full for the 
workers and peasants of the Ukraine in connection with the 
victories over Denikin. 

Red troops have taken Kiev, Poltava and Kharkov and 
are advancing victoriously on Rostov. The Ukraine is seeth- 
ing with revolt against Denikin. All forces must be rallied 
for the final rout of Denikin's army, which has been trying 
to restore the power of the landowners and capitalists. We 
must destroy Denikin to safeguard ourselves against even 
the slightest possibility of a new incursion. 

The workers and peasants of the Ukraine should familiar- 
ise themselves with the lessons which all Russian workers 
and peasants have drawn from the conquest of Siberia by 
Kolchak and her liberation by Red troops after many 
months of landowner and capitalist tyranny. 

Denikin's rule in the Ukraine has been as severe an 
ordeal as Kolchak's rule was in Siberia. There can be no 
doubt that the lessons of this severe ordeal will give the 
Ukrainian workers and peasants — as they did the workers 
and peasants of the Urals and Siberia — a clearer understand- 
ing of the tasks of Soviet power and induce them to defend 
it more staunchly. 

In Great Russia the system of landed estates has been 
completely abolished. The same must be done in the Ukraine, 



and the Soviet power of the Ukrainian workers and peas- 
ants must effect the complete abolition of the landed es- 
tates and the complete liberation of the Ukrainian workers 
and peasants from all oppression by the landowners, and 
from the landowners themselves. 

But apart from this task, and a number of others which 
confronted and still confront both the Great-Russian and 
the Ukrainian working masses, Soviet power in the Ukraine 
has its own special tasks. One of these special tasks deserves 
the greatest attention at the present moment. It is the nation- 
al question, or, in other words, the question of whether the 
Ukraine is to be a separate and independent Ukrainian 
Soviet Socialist Republic bound in alliance (federation) 
with the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, or 
whether the Ukraine is to amalgamate with Russia to form 
a single Soviet republic. All Bolsheviks and all politi- 
cally-conscious workers and peasants must give careful 
thought to this question. 

The independence of the Ukraine has been recognised 
both by the All-Russia Central Executive Committee of 
the R.S.F.S.R. (Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Repub- 
lic) and by the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks). 
It is therefore self-evident and generally recognised that 
only the Ukrainian workers and peasants themselves can and 
will decide at their All-Ukraine Congress of Soviets whether 
the Ukraine shall amalgamate with Russia, or whether she 
shall remain a separate and independent republic, and, in 
the latter case, what federal ties shall be established between 
that republic and Russia. 

How should this question be decided insofar as concerns 
the interests of the working people and the promotion of 
their fight for the complete emancipation of labour from 
the yoke of capital? 

In the first place, the interests of labour demand the 
fullest confidence and the closest alliance among the work- 
ing people of different countries and nations. The support- 
ers of the landowners and capitalists, of the bourgeoisie, 
strive to disunite the workers, to intensify national discord 
and enmity, in order to weaken the workers and strengthen 
the power of capital. 



Capital is an international force. To vanquish it, an 
international workers' alliance, an international workers' 
brotherhood, is needed. 

We are opposed to national enmity and discord, to nation- 
al exclusiveness. We are internationalists. We stand for 
the close union and the complete amalgamation of the 
workers and peasants of all nations in a single world Soviet 

Secondly, the working people must not forget that capi- 
talism has divided nations into a small number of oppressor, 
Great-Power (imperialist), sovereign and privileged nations 
and an overwhelming majority of oppressed, dependent 
and semi-dependent, non-sovereign nations. The arch-crim- 
inal and arch-reactionary war of 1914-18 still further 
accentuated this division and as a result aggravated rancour 
and hatred. For centuries the indignation and distrust of 
the non-sovereign and dependent nations towards the domi- 
nant and oppressor nations have been accumulating, of 
nations such as the Ukrainian towards nations such as the 

We want a voluntary union of nations — a union which 
precludes any coercion of one nation by another — a union 
founded on complete confidence, on a clear recognition of 
brotherly unity, on absolutely voluntary consent. Such a 
union cannot be effected at one stroke; we have to work 
towards it with the greatest patience and circumspection, 
so as not to spoil matters and not to arouse distrust, and so 
that the distrust inherited from centuries of landowner and 
capitalist oppression, centuries of private property and the 
enmity caused by its divisions and redivisions may have 
a chance to wear off. 

We must, therefore, strive persistently for the unity of 
nations and ruthlessly suppress everything that tends to 
divide them, and in doing so we must be very cautious and 
patient, and make concessions to the survivals of national 
distrust. We must be adamant and uncompromising towards 
everything that affects the fundamental interests of labour 
in its fight for emancipation from the yoke of capital. The 
question of the demarcation of frontiers now, for the time 
being — for we are striving towards the complete abolition of 
frontiers — is a minor one, it is not fundamental or important. 



In this matter we can afford to wait, and must wait, 
because the national distrust among the broad mass of peas- 
ants and small owners is often extremely tenacious, and 
haste might only intensify it, in other words, jeopardise 
the cause of complete and ultimate unity. 

The experience of the workers' and peasants' revolution 
in Russia, the revolution of October-November 1917, and of 
the two years of victorious struggle against the onslaught 
of international and Russian capitalists, has made it crystal- 
clear that the capitalists have succeeded for a time in play- 
ing upon the national distrust of the Great Russians felt 
by Polish, Latvian, Estonian and Finnish peasants and 
small owners, that they have succeeded for a time in 
sowing dissension between them and us on the basis of this 
distrust. Experience has shown that this distrust wears off 
and disappears only very slowly, and that the more caution 
and patience displayed by the Great Russians, who have for 
so long been an oppressor nation, the more certainly this 
distrust will pass. It is by recognising the independence of 
the Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian and Finnish 
states that we are slowly but steadily winning the confidence 
of the labouring masses of the neighbouring small states, 
who were more backward and more deceived and downtrod- 
den by the capitalists. It is the surest way of wresting them 
from the influence of "their" national capitalists, and lead- 
ing them to full confidence, to the future united inter- 
national Soviet republic. 

As long as the Ukraine is not completely liberated 
from Denikin, her government, until the All-Ukraine 
Congress of Soviets meets, is the All-Ukraine Revolutionary 
Committee. 87 Besides the Ukrainian Bolshevik Communists, 
there are Ukrainian Borotba Communists 88 working on this 
Revolutionary Committee as members of the government. 
One of the things distinguishing the Borotbists from the 
Bolsheviks is that they insist upon the unconditional inde- 
pendence of the Ukraine. The Bolsheviks will not make 
this a subject of difference and disunity, they do not regard 
this as an obstacle to concerted proletarian effort. There 
must be unity in the struggle against the yoke of capital 
and for the dictatorship of the proletariat, and there should 
be no parting of the ways among Communists on the ques- 



tion of national frontiers, or whether there should be a federal 
or some other tie between the states. Among the Bolsheviks 
there are advocates of complete independence for the Ukraine, 
advocates of a more or less close federal tie, and advocates 
of the complete amalgamation of the Ukraine with Russia. 

There must be no differences over these questions. They 
will be decided by the All-Ukraine Congress of Soviets. 

If a Great-Russian Communist insists upon the amalgama- 
tion of the Ukraine with Russia, Ukrainians might easily 
suspect him of advocating this policy not from the motive 
of uniting the proletarians in the fight against capital, but 
because of the prejudices of the old Great-Russian national- 
ism, of imperialism. Such mistrust is natural, and to a 
certain degree inevitable and legitimate, because the Great 
Russians, under the yoke of the landowners and capitalists, 
had for centuries imbibed the shameful and disgusting prej- 
udices of Great-Russian chauvinism. 

If a Ukrainian Communist insists upon the unconditional 
state independence of the Ukraine, he lays himself open 
to the suspicion that he is supporting this policy not because 
of the temporary interests of the Ukrainian workers and 
peasants in their struggle against the yoke of capital, but 
on account of the petty-bourgeois national prejudices of 
the small owner. Experience has provided hundreds of 
instances of the petty-bourgeois "socialists" of various 
countries — all the various Polish, Latvian and Lithuanian 
pseudo-socialists, Georgian Mensheviks, Socialist-Revolu- 
tionaries and the like — assuming the guise of supporters 
of the proletariat for the sole purpose of deceitfully pro- 
moting a policy of compromise with "their" national bourgeoi- 
sie against the revolutionary workers. We saw this in the 
case of Kerensky's rule in Russia in the February-October 
period of 1917, and we have seen it and are seeing it in all 
other countries. 

Mutual distrust between the Great-Russian and Ukraini- 
an Communists can, therefore, arise very easily. How is 
this distrust to be combated? How is it to be overcome and 
mutual confidence established? 

The best way to achieve this is by working together to 
uphold the dictatorship of the proletariat and Soviet power 
in the fight against the landowners and capitalists of all 



countries and against their attempts to restore their domi- 
nation. This common fight will clearly show in practice 
that whatever the decision in regard to state independence 
or frontiers may be, there must be a close military and eco- 
nomic alliance between the Great-Russian and Ukrainian 
workers, for otherwise the capitalists of the "Entente", in 
other words, the alliance of the richest capitalist countries — 
Britain, France, America, Japan and Italy — will crush 
and strangle us separately. Our fight against Kolchak and 
Denikin, whom these capitalists supplied with money and 
arms, is a clear illustration of this danger. 

He who undermines the unity and closest alliance between 
the Great-Russian and Ukrainian workers and peasants 
is helping the Kolchaks, the Denikins, the capitalist bandits 
of all countries. 

Consequently, we Great-Russian Communists must 
repress with the utmost severity the slightest manifestation 
in our midst of Great-Russian nationalism, for such mani- 
festations, which are a betrayal of communism in general, 
cause the gravest harm by dividing us from our Ukrainian 
comrades and thus playing into the hands of Denikin and 
his regime. 

Consequently, we Great-Russian Communists must make 
concessions when there are differences with the Ukrainian 
Bolshevik Communists and Borotbists and these differences 
concern the state independence of the Ukraine, the forms 
of her alliance with Russia, and the national question in 
general. But all of us, Great-Russian Communists, Ukraini- 
an Communists, and Communists of any other nation, 
must be unyielding and irreconcilable in the underlying 
and fundamental questions which are the same for all na- 
tions, in questions of the proletarian struggle, of the prole- 
tarian dictatorship; we must not tolerate compromise with 
the bourgeoisie or any division of the forces which are pro- 
tecting us against Denikin. 

Denikin must be vanquished and destroyed, and such 
incursions as his not allowed to recur. That is to the fun- 
damental interest of both the Great-Russian and the Ukraini- 
an workers and peasants. The fight will be a long and hard 
one, for the capitalists of the whole world are helping 
Denikin and will help all other Denikins. 



In this long and hard fight we Great-Russian and Ukraini- 
an workers must maintain the closest alliance, for separately 
we shall most definitely be unable to cope with the task. 
Whatever the boundaries of the Ukraine and Russia may be, 
whatever may be the forms of their mutual state relation- 
ships, that is not so important; that is a matter in which 
concessions can and should be made, in which one thing, 
or another, or a third may be tried — the cause of the workers 
and peasants, of the victory over capitalism, will not perish 
because of that. 

But if we fail to maintain the closest alliance, an alliance 
against Denikin, an alliance against the capitalists and 
kulaks of our countries and of all countries, the cause of 
labour will most certainly perish for many years to come in 
the sense that the capitalists will be able to crush and 
strangle both the Soviet Ukraine and Soviet Russia. 

And what the bourgeoisie of all countries, and all manner 
of petty-bourgeois parties — i.e., "compromising" parties 
which permit alliance with the bourgeoisie against the 
workers — try most of all to accomplish is to disunite the 
workers of different nationalities, to evoke distrust, and to 
disrupt a close international alliance and international 
brotherhood of the workers. Whenever the bourgeoisie suc- 
ceeds in this the cause of the workers is lost. The Communists 
of Russia and the Ukraine must therefore by patient, per- 
sistent, stubborn and concerted effort foil the nationalist 
machinations of the bourgeoisie and vanquish nationalist 
prejudices of every kind, and set the working people of the 
world an example of a really solid alliance of the workers 
and peasants of different nations in the fight for Soviet pow- 
er, for the overthrow of the yoke of the landowners and 
capitalists, and for a world federal Soviet republic. 

N. Lenin 

December 28, 1919 

Pravda No. 3, 
January 4, 1920 

Published according to 
the Pravda text, verified 
with the manuscript 




We are spoiling the Russian language. We are using 
foreign words unnecessarily. And we use them incorrectly. 
Why use the foreign word defekty when we have three Rus- 
sian synonyms — nedochoty, nedostatki, probely. 

A man who has recently learned to read in general, and 
to read newspapers in particular, will, of course, if he reads 
them diligently, willy-nilly absorb journalistic turns 
of speech. However, it is the language of the newspapers 
that is beginning to suffer. If a man who has recently learned 
to read uses foreign words as a novelty, he is to be excused, 
but there is no excuse for a writer. Is it not time for us 
to declare war on the unnecessary use of foreign words? 

I must admit that the unnecessary use of foreign words 
annoys me (because it makes it more difficult for us to exer- 
cise our influence over the masses) but some of the mis- 
takes made by those who write in the newspapers make me 
really angry. For instance — the word budirovat is used in 
the meaning of arouse, awaken, stir up. It comes from the 
French word bouder which means to sulk, to pout, which is 
what budirovat should really mean. This adoption of Nizhni- 
Novgorod French is the adoption of the worst from the worst 
representatives of the Russian landowning class, who 
learned some French but who, first, did not master the lan- 
guage, and who, secondly, distorted the Russian language. 

Is it not time to declare war on the spoiling of Russian? 

First published in Pravda No. 275, 
December 3, 1924 
Signed: N. Lenin 

Published according to 
the manuscript 



Comrades, since I have no opportunity of attending your 
Congress I should like to send you in writing my greetings 
and my best wishes for success. 

We are now happily ending the Civil War. The Soviet 
Republic is becoming stronger through its victories over the 
exploiters. The Soviet Republic can and must, from now on, 
concentrate its forces on a more important task, one that 
is nearer and dearer to us, to all working people — on a 
bloodless war, a war for victory over hunger, cold and 
economic chaos. In this bloodless war, women workers and 
peasants have an especially big role to play. 

May the Women's Congress in Petrograd Gubernia help 
found, consolidate and organise an army of working women 
for this bloodless war which should and will bring still 
greater victories to Soviet power. 

With communist greetings, 

V. Ulyanov (Lenin) 

January 10, 1920 

Petrogradskaya Pravda No. 11, 
January 16, 1920 

Published according to 
the manuscript 




To Comrade Stalin. Copies to Avanesov 
and Tomsky, and also to Kiselyov, Mem- 
ber of the Presidium of the All-Russia 
Central Executive Committee 

On the basis of directive given by the Central Commit- 
tee 91 the three drafts should, in my opinion, be worked up 
into one. 

I think you should add: 

(1) The "Department" of the Workers' and Peasants' 
Inspection at the State Control Commission should be a 
temporary one for the purpose of involving the Workers' 
and Peasants' Inspection in all departments of the State 
Control Commission, and should then disappear as a special 

(2) Purpose: all working people, both men and particu- 
larly women, should serve in the Workers' and Peasants' 

(3) For this draw up lists in the localities (in accordance 
with the Constitution), excluding clerks, etc. 

— all others in turn to participate in the Workers' and 
Peasants' Inspection. 

(4) Participation to vary according to the degree of 
development of the participants — beginning with the role 
of "listener", or witness, or learner for the illiterate and 
completely undeveloped workers and peasants, and ending 
with the granting of all right (or almost all) to the literate 
and developed who have been tested in some way or another. 

(5) Pay special attention to (and make strictly precise 
rules for), and extend control by the Workers' and Peasants' 


Inspection over accounting for food, goods, warehouses, tools, 
materials, fuel, etc., etc. (in dining-rooms, etc., especially). 

Women, literally every woman, must be drawn into this 

(6) So as not to get into a mess with the involvement of 
masses of participants they must be drawn into the work 
gradually, in turn, etc. The ways in which they participate 
must also be carefully planned (two or three at a time, rare- 
ly, in special cases, more, so that they will not waste the 
working time of the clerks). 

(7) Detailed instructions must be compiled. 

(8) Officials of the State Control Commission must (in 
accordance with a special instruction), first, invite repre- 
sentatives of the Workers' and Peasants' Inspection to all 
their operations, and secondly, deliver lectures to non-party 
conferences of workers and peasants (popular lectures 
according to a specially approved programme on the prin- 
ciples of the State Control Commission and its methods; 
perhaps the lectures could be replaced by the reading of a 
pamphlet that we shall publish — that is, the State Control 
Commission, Stalin and Avanesov, will publish it with the 
special participation of the Party — and commenting on 
that pamphlet). 

(9) Gradually summon peasants from the localities (they 
must be non-party peasants) to participate in the State 
Control Commission at the centre; begin with at least (if it 
is impossible to do more) one or two from each gubernia 
and then, depending on transport and other conditions, 
increase the number. The same thing for non-party workers. 

(10) Gradually introduce the verification of the partici- 
pation of working people in the State Control Commission 
by the Party and the trade unions, i.e., through these 
organisations verify whether everyone participates and what 
results come from the participation insofar as learning the 
business of state administration is concerned. 


January 24, 1920 

First published in 1928 

Published according to 
the manuscript 


JANUARY 24, 1920 


"In connection with the recent victories of the Red Army 
there has been a marked change in our international situa- 
tion, and we must seek new ways of solving our internation- 
al problems. 

"As soon as the Soviet government was formed all the 
forces of international capital were hurled against it. These 
forces are far stronger than those of the Soviet government, 
so that waverers might have doubted whether the Soviet 
government could be victorious. Yet it has been victorious. 
And it is worth reflecting on the reasons for the Soviet 
government's victory in order to know what must be done to 
be victorious in the future." 

Comrade Lenin shows how great has been the victory 
over the forces of capital and how complete the rout of 
Kolchak, which has compelled the Allies to remove the 
blockade and to abandon their plan to strangle Russia. 

"This victory over a far stronger enemy has shown that 
the Bolsheviks were right, and not those who asserted that 
in taking up arms against the world bourgeoisie we were 
embarking on a hopeless cause. Although the removal of the 
blockade has eased our position somewhat, the bourgeoisie 
of the West will probably attempt to fight us again. Even 
though they have now removed the blockade, they are incit- 
ing the Polish whiteguards against us. We must, therefore, 
be once more on our guard, prepare for new attacks, draw 



the lessons from the two years of struggle and employ the 
methods by which we have been victorious hitherto. 

"The Mensheviks have often said that the proletarians 
of the West are not supporting us, are allowing us to be 
strangled as they allowed Hungary to be strangled. 92 That 
would seem to be true. But why did the Entente troops quit 
the North and Odessa? Because the more deeply their sol- 
diers, who were themselves workers, penetrated into Soviet 
Russia, the more emphatically they refused to fight against 
us. That means that one of the reasons for our victory was 
this: we can be fought only by a big force, but a big army 
can be recruited only from among the workers and peasants, 
and the workers of the West do not want to fight us. We 
were therefore victorious not because we were the stronger, 
but because the working folk of the Entente countries 
proved to be closer to us than to their own governments. 

"The second reason for our victory was the failure of the 
'Campaign of the Fourteen States'. 93 This shows that the 
small states cannot unite to fight the Bolsheviks, because 
they are afraid that their own victory and the simultaneous 
victory of Denikin's forces would mean the restoration 
of the Russian Empire which would again rob the little 
nations of the right to live. We are concluding peace with 
Estonia, which is already a virtual breach in the block- 
ade, even if the formal removal of the blockade is just 
a blind. 

"The big powers of the Entente cannot unite to fight 
the Soviet government because they are too hostile to each 
other. Germany is harbouring thoughts of vengeance against 
France for the predatory Peace of Versailles, France is 
inciting Poland against us, while Britain is allowing Esto- 
nia to make peace with us, as long as Estonia trades with 
her. Japan, who has a stronger army than ours in Siberia, 
cannot fight us because she fears attack by America, with 
whom she is at loggerheads over imperialist, colonialist 
interests in China. That means that a second reason for our 
victory was this: whereas the workers are united, the bour- 
geoisie, being bourgeois, cannot help getting at each other's 
throats and fighting for an extra bit of profit. 

"And so we have emerged victorious from the first two 
years of the Civil War, which were the hardest years of all, 



because we had been ruined by the imperialist war and were 
cut off from grain and coal supplies. But now we have grain 
and fuel in abundance. In Siberia the grain requisitioned 
alone amounted to twenty-one million poods. It is true that 
we cannot get it out immediately, but then, the transport 
system has broken down all over Europe, and in our country 
it was deliberately disrupted by the whiteguards. They blew 
up all the bridges on the Dnieper, except the Kiev bridge, 
and this explains both the delay in the military operations 
and the delay in the transport of grain. We have the Guryev 
oil and shall transport it as soon as the offshore ice on the 
Caspian melts. We are bearing all this in mind, and are pre- 
paring to transport the oil. We are creating labour armies 
to restore the railways; one of them has already started to 
build a railway from Alexandrov-Gai to Guryev for the 
transport of oil. We cannot demobilise the army because we 
still have enemies, such as Poland. Demobilisation is also 
being hampered by the transport break-down. We shall 
therefore use the army to restore the railways. 

"The whiteguards keep saying in their sheets that the 
Bolsheviks are doing fine propaganda and are sparing no 
money for the purpose. But the people have heard all sorts 
of propaganda — they have heard the propaganda of the white- 
guards and the propaganda of the Constituent Assembly 
supporters. It is absurd to think that they have followed the 
Bolsheviks because their propaganda was the more skilful. 
No, the point is that their propaganda was truthful. 

"The very deeds of Denikin and Kolchak were propaganda 
against them and in favour of the Soviet system. That is 
why we won. We overthrew the tsar easily in a few hours. 
We overthrew the landowners and capitalists in a few weeks. 
But that was only half the job. We have to learn to work 
in a new way. Formerly it was the exploiter who organised 
labour and hunger that united labour; now labour must be 
united by the workers and peasants realising that they 
must work in order to escape from this dire situation. 

"But this is not yet implanted in everyone's mind, and we 
are starting a new and bloodless fight to bring it home. All 
previous revolutions ended to the advantage of a handful of 
capitalists and exploiters. That was because the insurrection- 
ary working people had no sense of solidarity, each thought 



only of himself, they all fought one another, and it was the 
swindlers and profiteers who came out on top. 

"You have a peasant who has grain, and side by side 
with him there is a hungry man, and the peasant prefers to 
sell grain to the hungry man for a thousand rubles rather 
than loan it to the workers' government. Somebody here 
even says 'Hear, hear!' Well, both Denikin and Kolchak 
tried freedom of trade, but the best, politically-conscious 
workers and peasants saw what this meant in practice and 
turned their backs on them. 

"In the old days they used to say, 'Each for himself, and 
God for all.' And how much misery resulted from it. 

"We say, 'Each for all, and we'll somehow manage with- 
out God.' And we shall strive for a fraternal alliance between 
the workers and the peasants who loan their grain to the 
state — it has to be a loan, because at present we are unable 
to give anything in return; bits of coloured paper are not 
money. Hitherto we have had to fight just to prevent the 
enemy from strangling us; but now, when an enemy much 
stronger than us has been defeated, our hands are free, and 
we must set about the job of building a new life and, in the 
first place, must restore the railways. 

"In the South we have repair shops captured by the Red 
Army in places where grain is close, so let these repair shops 
work at full speed, in three shifts, and not in the way starv- 
ing people work. 

"We must concentrate the whole force of our Communist 
propaganda, with the help of which we defeated the foreign 
enemy, on the restoration of the railways. 

"We once had a 'splendid' foreign trade and used to export 
700,000,000 poods of grain annually. Russian and foreign 
millionaires made fortunes on this business, while the 
Russian workers and peasants starved. Now we must convince 
everybody that the only salvation is, 'Everyone for all!' 
We must, whatever the cost, abolish freedom of trade and 
profiteering, which mean bread for a small handful and 
starvation for the rest. We must convince the peasants — 
and they will believe us, because Denikin demonstrated to 
them the 'blessings' of freedom of profiteering, they will 
understand that the only salvation is for them to give grain 
as a loan to the worker and artisan, and that these will 



repay the loan not in bits of coloured paper but in textiles 
and other goods. 

"We have started a great war, a war which we shall not 
end soon. This is a bloodless war waged by the armies of 
labour on starvation, cold and typhus, a war for an enlight- 
ened, bright, well-fed and healthy Russia. But we shall end 
this war with a victory as decisive as the one with which 
we ended the struggle against the whiteguards...." 

In reply to a question about the terms of the peace with 
Estonia, Comrade Lenin said that we had made many con- 
cessions, the chief of which was the cession of disputed 
territory inhabited by a mixed population — Russians and 
Estonians. But we did not want to shed the blood of workers 
and Red Army soldiers for the sake of a piece of land, all 
the more that this concession was not being made for ever. 
Estonia was passing through a Kerensky period; the workers 
were beginning to realise the vileness of their Constituent 
Assembly leaders, who had plundered the trade unions and 
had murdered twenty Communists. They would soon over- 
throw this government and set up a Soviet Estonia, he said, 
which would conclude a new peace with us. 

Pravda No. 18, 
January 28, 1920 

Published according to 
the Pravda text 



Tomorrow at the Council of People's Commissars table a 
draft decree, not on a merger for the co-operatives but on 
the completion of the unification of all types of co-opera- 
tive, rewriting 0. J. Schmidt's proposal so that a most 
cautious attitude is displayed to local producers' co-opera- 
tives, and the Council of Co-operative Congresses is abol- 
ished in the shortest period. 


(a) More attention to be paid to the needs of the working 
people and not only of the affluent and kulak section. 
Change the formula of the preamble in this spirit. 

((3) More extensive aid for producers' co-operatives with 
local initiative specially developed, and improved methods 
of farming and industry encouraged. 

(y) Concrete steps by the new Central Co-operative Society 
for the unification of producers' co-operatives to be carried 
out with the approval of the Council of People's Commis- 

(a) Instruct Tsyurupa and Lezhava to table a draft deci- 
sion at the Council of People's Commissars (without decid- 
ing in advance whether it is to be published) formulating 
more precise, systematic and concrete rules for the partic- 
ipation of co-operatives in the procurement of various food- 
stuffs, and for the ways and forms, terms and methods by 
which this participation is to be effected. 

(b) Instruct the Central Statistical Board, in agreement 
with the Central Union of Consumers' Societies, the People's 
Food Commissariat and the Supreme Economic Council, to 
draw up by ... a programme of sample surveys of the methods 



and results of food procurement in the localities with 
and without the participation of the co-operatives. 

The programme to be tabled at the Council of People's 
Commissars for approval and for the actual appointment of 
the survey. 

Think about whether a questionnaire can be used, and 
if it can, submit a brief draft of it to the Council of People's 

Purpose of the survey: the detailed analysis of facts that 
may be few but are typical and properly verified of how 
products were gathered, which products and in what quanti- 
ties, how they were delivered, guarded and transported, over 
what distance, etc. Number of cases of coercion, and what 
sort of coercion. Supply of goods in exchange, what sort, 
and what quantities. The percentage of compulsory deliv- 
eries and surpluses obtained and in what period. The 
participation of various groups of peasants in the delivery 
of grain (and in receiving goods, if they were available). 

Written on January 26, 1920 
First published in the Fourth (Russian) 
Edition of the Collected Works 

Published according to 
the manuscript 



JANUARY 27, 1920 


Comrade Lenin said that he would only touch lightly 
on those questions which he had had lately to deal with 
most. One of them was the organisation of administration — 
the question of corporate management or one-man manage- 
ment. 96 In the controversies on this subject the question 
had been discussed on the basis of abstract reasoning in 
which the superiority of corporate management over indi- 
vidual management was argued. But this led very far away 
from the practical tasks of the moment. Such arguments 
went back to an early stage in the development of the 
Soviet system, a stage that had already passed. It was time 
to put the matter on a more business-like footing. 

"Corporate management," continued Lenin, "as the chief 
type of organisation of Soviet administration, is something 
embryonic, something needed in the early stages, when you 
have to start from scratch. But when more or less stable 
forms have been established, the transition to practical 
work involves individual management, for that system best 
ensures the most effective utilisation of human abilities, and 
a real, not verbal, verification of work done. 

"The experience of the Soviet government in army organ- 
isation must not be regarded as something isolated. War 
embraces all forms of organisation in all spheres. The devel- 
opment of our army led to successful results only because it 
was carried on in the spirit of general Soviet organisation, 



on the basis of class relations that affect all development. 
We find here the same thin layer of the leading class, the 
proletariat, and the peasantry forming the mass. The na- 
ture of this relationship may not have been so fully apparent 
in other spheres, but it was thoroughly tested in the army, 
which stands face to face with the enemy and pays dearly 
for every mistake. This experience is worth thinking about. 
Developing systematically, it passed from a corporate form 
that was casual and vague to a corporate form elevated to 
the status of a system of organisation and permeating all 
the institutions of the army; and now, as a general tendency, 
it has arrived at the principle of one-man responsibility as 
the only correct method of work. In any sphere of Soviet 
work you will find a small number of politically-conscious 
proletarians, a mass of less developed proletarians and, as 
the substratum, a huge mass of peasants, all of whose habits 
tend towards private enterprise and, consequently, towards 
freedom of trade and profiteering, which the Mensheviks, 
the Socialist-Revolutionaries and non-party people call 
freedom, but which we call the heritage of capitalism. 
These are the conditions under which we have to act, and 
they call for relevant methods. And taking the experience 
of the army, we find in the organisation of its administration 
a systematic development from the original forms, from the 
corporate principle to the individual principle, which is 
now being applied there in at least a half of all cases. 

"At best, corporate management involves a tremendous 
waste of forces and is not suited to the rapid and accurate 
work demanded by the conditions of centralised large-scale 
industry. If you take the advocates of corporate management, 
you will find that their resolutions formulate, in an ex- 
tremely abstract way, the concept that every member of a 
collegium must be held individually responsible for the 
fulfilment of its tasks. That for us is now elementary. But 
those of you who have had practical experience know that 
only in one case out of a hundred is this actually adhered to. 
In the vast majority of cases it remains on paper. No member 
of a collegium is assigned precise duties and held personally 
responsible for the performance of those duties. Generally, 
there is no verification of work done. Let us assume that 
the Central Committee of a trade union nominates Vasily 



Vasilyevich Vasilyev for some office, and you ask to see a 
list of assignments performed by him and verified by effi- 
cient people — you will not get anything of the kind. We are 
all of us only just beginning to adopt really efficient methods. 

"Our fault is that we imagine we can do everything our- 
selves. Our most acute shortcoming is a lack of executives, 
yet we do not know how to draw them from the rank-and- 
file workers and peasants, among whom there is an abun- 
dance of talented administrators and organisers. It would be 
much better if we abandoned general, and in most cases 
absolutely sterile, controversy for business-like methods, 
and that as soon as possible. We would then really be car- 
rying out the duties of organisers of the advanced class, and 
would pick out hundreds and thousands of new talented 
organisers. We must promote them, test them, assign them 
tasks, tasks of greater and greater complexity. I hope that 
after the Congress of the Economic Councils, after having 
reviewed the work done, we shall take this path and increase 
and multiply the number of organisers, so as to reinforce and 
enlarge that exceedingly thin layer which has been worn 
to shreds during the past two years. For in order to accom- 
plish the task we are setting ourselves, that of saving Russia 
from poverty, hunger and cold, we need ten times more 
organisers, who would be answerable to tens of millions of 

"The second of the questions which interest us most is 
that of the labour armies. 

"The task confronting us here concerns the transition 
from one stage of activity to another. The stage that was 
wholly taken up by war is not yet over but there are a num- 
ber of signs which show that the Russian capitalists will not 
be able to continue the war, although there is no doubt that 
they will attempt to invade Russia. And we must be on our 
guard. Nevertheless, the war they launched against us two 
years ago has, by and large, ended in victory for us, and we 
are now going over to peaceful tasks. 

"The peculiar character of this transition must be under- 
stood. Here we have a country which is in a state of utter 
ruin, a country suffering from hunger and cold, where pov- 
erty has reached desperate extremes, and in that country 
the people have risen in their might, and gained confidence 



in themselves when they realised that they are capable of 
withstanding the entire world — without exaggeration, the 
entire world, for the entire capitalist world has suffered 
defeat. And in these peculiar conditions we are proposing 
to form a labour army to solve urgent problems. 

"We must concentrate on the main thing, namely, on 
collecting grain and transporting it to the centre. Every 
deviation from this task, the least diffusion of effort, will 
entail the gravest peril, the ruin of our cause. And in order 
to utilise our apparatus with the greatest possible dispatch, 
we must create a labour army. You already have the theses 
of the Central Committee and the reports on this subject, 
and I shall not go into the actual details of the question. 
I only want to say that at this moment of transition from 
civil war to the new tasks we must transfer everything to 
the labour front and there concentrate all our forces, with 
the utmost effort and with ruthless, military determination. 
We shall not allow any deviations now. In launching this 
slogan we declare that we must strain all the live forces of 
the workers and peasants to the utmost and demand that 
they give us every help in this matter. And then, by creating 
a labour army, by harnessing all the forces of the workers 
and peasants, we shall accomplish our main task. We shall 
succeed in procuring hundreds of millions of poods of grain. 
We have them already. But it will require incredible effort, 
devilish effort, the harnessing of all the forces of the country, 
added to military determination and energy, to get these 
hundreds of millions of poods of grain and transport them 
to the centre. Here, in the centre, we shall be engaged chiefly 
in drawing up a plan for this and shall be talking chiefly 
of this; as to all other questions — finance, industrial develop- 
ment and all questions relating to broad programmes — they 
should not be allowed to divert our attention at the moment. 
That is the chief thing facing us today — to resist the danger 
of being carried away by far-reaching plans and schemes. 
We must concentrate on the chief and fundamental thing, 
and not permit attention to be diverted from the main task 
we have set ourselves, namely, to procure grain and food- 
stuffs, to procure them through the state, at fixed prices, in 
the socialist way of the workers' state — and not in the capi- 
talist way, by means of profiteering — and to transport them 



to the centre, overcoming the chaos on the railways. It 
would be a crime on anybody's part to forget this task. 

"In order to place the performance of our main task on 
more or less correct lines, the leaders of all our government 
bodies, and of the economic councils in particular, must 
rouse the activities of tens of millions of workers and peas- 
ants. For this purpose a broad plan for the reconstruction 
of Russia will be drawn up. We have sufficient means for it: 
resources, technical potentialities, raw materials, every- 
thing required to enable us to begin this work of reconstruc- 
tion everywhere, enlisting all the workers and peasants. 
We shall launch a persistent struggle, comrades, a struggle 
which will demand heavy sacrifices during this period on the 
labour front, but it is a struggle we must inevitably wage, 
because we are suffering from hunger, cold, transport dis- 
location and typhus. We must combat these evils and begin 
everywhere to build up our state on the basis of large-scale, 
machine-industry methods, so as to make our country a cul- 
tured country and, by a correct socialist struggle, get out 
of the quagmire in which the countries of world capitalism 
and imperialism are at present submerged." 

Pravda No. 19, 
January 29, 1920 

Published according to 
the Pravda text 



February 1 

The situation on the railways is catastrophic in the 
extreme. The delivery of grain has ceased. Truly urgent 
measures are needed to save the country. In the course of 
two months (February and March) the following measures 
must be effected (and other relevant measures of a similar 
nature must be sought): 

I. The personal bread ration to be reduced for those not 
working on the railways and increased for those working on 

Let more thousands perish but the country will be saved. 

II. Three-fourths of the leading executives of all de- 
partments, except the Commissariats of Food and the 
Army, to be taken for the railways and for repair work 
for these two months. The work of other commissariats to 
be discontinued (or reduced to one-tenth) correspondingly 
for these two months. 

III. Introduce martial law over an area stretching to 
30-50 versts on either side of the railway line to mobilise 
labour to clear the line, and transfer to the volosts within 
that area three-fourths of all high-ranking functionaries of 
the volost and uyezd executive committees of the gubernia 

First published in 1924 

Published according to 
the manuscript 


FEBRUARY 2, 1920 

Comrades, my report on the activities of the Council 
of People's Commissars and the All-Russia Central Execu- 
tive Committee, whose functions in periods between meet- 
ings have been carried out by the Presidium of the All- 
Russia Central Executive Committee, falls naturally into 
two main subdivisions — the first on foreign policy, the 
Soviet Republic's international position, and the second on 
internal development and our main economic tasks. Allow 
me to present to you in that order the main facts of our 
work during the period under review, i.e., during the past 
two months. 

As far as the Soviet Republic's international position is 
concerned, it has been determined in the main by the suc- 
cesses of the Red Army. As you know, the last remnants of 
Kolchak's army in the Far East have been almost wiped out, 
while the rivalry and enmity between Japan and America, 
nominally allies, are becoming more and more obvious and 
prevent them from fully developing their onslaught against 
the Soviet Republic. After the annihilation of Yudenich's 
troops and after the capture, in the South, of Novocherkassk 
and Rostov-on-Don in early January, their main forces 
suffered so decisive a blow that the Soviet Republic's 



military position radically changed, and although the war 
was not over, every country saw clearly that its former 
hopes of crushing the military forces of the Soviet Republic 
had collapsed. 

Acknowledgement of this radical change in the Soviet 
Republic's international position was shown by the wire- 
less message to us (not delivered officially) of the decision 
of the Allied Council adopted on January 16 to lift the 
blockade against the Soviet Republic. The main section of 
the decision taken by the Council says ... (reads). 98 

There is no need for me to criticise the diplomacy con- 
tained in this formulation; it is so striking that it is not 
worth wasting time saying that the attitude of the Allies 
to Russia remains unchanged. If that is how the Allies un- 
derstand their policy — that the lifting of the blockade does 
not change it — then it shows how unsound their policy is. 
The importance of this decision for us, however, is in its 
economic, not its political, aspect. Lifting the blockade 
is a fact of major international significance showing that 
a new stage in the socialist revolution has begun. For the 
blockade was in fact the principal, really strong weapon 
with which the imperialists of the world wanted to strangle 
Soviet Russia. 

At the last Congress of Soviets I had occasion to state 
and expand the idea that the struggle against Soviet Russia 
had resulted, not only in the workers and peasants of France, 
Britain and other advanced countries forcing the imperial- 
ists to renounce the struggle, but in the mass of the petty 
bourgeoisie within these countries becoming opponents of 
the blockade. And of course, this opposition by the middle 
sections of the population in countries like Britain and 
France was bound to influence international imperialist 
policy. Knowing their brand of diplomacy, we cannot 
expect them to act in a straightforward manner, without 
any reservations, without wanting to restore the past, or by 
some cunning trick or other return to their previous policy, 
which they cannot pursue openly at the moment. It must be 
said, however, that on the whole we have gained tremendous 
victories, that we have even been able to deprive the Allies 
of a weapon which only they possessed — the navy, despite 
the fact that waverers tried to scare us by saying the navy 


was invincible. Nevertheless, the development of political 
relations showed that even this invincible navy was in no 
fit state to fight us. We, who were unable to put up any naval 
resistance, forced the imperialist powers to abandon this 

Of course, this change in policy on the international 
scene does not have an immediate effect, but the fact remains 
that we have now entered the sphere of world-wide interna- 
tional relations, and this enables us to get support from the 
more advanced countries. It is true that economically and 
financially these countries are in a sorry plight, they are 
all going downhill, and we cannot expect much from them; 
but with the opportunity to develop our own industry, we 
can count on receiving machinery for production, machi- 
nery for the restoration of our industry. And above all, 
that which had cut us off completely, by means of the 
blockade, from the advanced countries, has been broken down. 

After the Allied Council had been forced to abandon this 
weapon our victories in the field of international politics 
continued, the greatest of them being that we succeeded 
in concluding peace with Estonia. We received a communi- 
cation from Joffe and Gukovsky today saying: "Today, 
February 2, at 2 a.m. Moscow time, peace was concluded 
between Russia and Estonia. The Estonian Minister for 
Foreign Affairs, Birk, arrived from Revel to sign the docu- 

Comrades, the text of this peace document which was 
discussed at great length and is of tremendous importance 
has been sent by messenger who should arrive tomorrow 
morning, but we have now received the exact text by tele- 
graph, and it will be distributed tomorrow. It will be dis- 
cussed and ratified. This document is of the highest impor- 
tance to us. The peace treaty between Russia and Estonia 
is of epoch-making significance. We have succeeded in con- 
cluding a peace treaty with a government which is also becom- 
ing democratic and whose relations with us will now be 
stable, but which up to now has been supported by the whole 
imperialist world. Therefore we must regard this as an act 
of tremendous historical importance. 

We know that people who stand between imperialism and 
democracy usually go over to one side or the other. So you 



see, we have undoubtedly gained a victory, because peace 
has been concluded, and this government must now proceed 
against our enemy. The theoretical significance of this fact 
is that in the imperialist epoch the whole world is split 
into a vast number of big and small states, the small states 
being absolutely helpless, an insignificant group compared 
to the rich powers which completely dominate a number 
of small, weak states. Imperialism is the epoch in which 
the division of the whole world takes place, when the whole 
of the world's population is divided into a minority of 
exploiting, oppressor countries, and a majority of countries 
with small, weak populations that exist in a state of colo- 
nial dependence on the minority. 

When we won peace with Estonia we proved that we were 
able to go forward as a proletarian and communist state. 
How have we done this? We have shown all the belligerent 
Entente powers who are opposed to peace that the sympathy 
we are able to evoke among our opponents and bourgeois 
governments, the sympathy of a small country, is more 
powerful than all that military oppression, all that finan- 
cial aid and all those economic ties which link that small 
country to the powerful world states. The Entente has 
seen that it is not only when we use force that we are able 
to win; we are in a position to refute the lie and slander 
spread against us by the bourgeois governments of the world 
when they say the Bolsheviks retain power by force alone. 
What was it that enabled us to prevail over the combined 
forces of world imperialism in regard to Estonia, a country 
which had always suffered violence at the hands of the 
Russia of the tsars and landowners? It was our proving our 
ability to renounce, in all sincerity, the use of force at the 
appropriate moment, in order to change to a peace policy, 
and so win the sympathy of the bourgeois government of a 
small country, regardless of all the support given it by 
international capital. This is a fact of historical signifi- 
cance. Estonia is a small country, a small republic, but she 
is oppressed economically and militarily in a thousand 
and one ways by world imperialist capital, so much so that 
her entire population comes under this oppression. And 
this peace now proves that we can, in spite of our exhaus- 
tion, weakness and disarray, gain the upper hand over the 


whiteguard army with its imperialist backing. The powerful 
Entente knows how to reply to force with even more trium- 
phant force, but this peace proves that we do not have to 
resort to force to win the sympathy and support of the bour- 

A most difficult international problem has arisen here. 
The rate of capitalist development in different countries 
varies; this development takes place under different condi- 
tions, in various ways and by various means. A socialist 
republic in one country exists alongside all the capitalist 
countries of the world and causes their bourgeoisie to 
waver. From this they concluded that our position was 
a hopeless one; we had defeated the whiteguards by force, 
but what, they asked, were we going to do about the rest 
of the world? We shall defeat that too. The peace with 
Estonia proves that this is no empty phrase. The entire 
pressure of international capital was overcome in that area 
where our rejection of the use of force was recognised to be 
sincere. "Don't make peace with the Bolsheviks, otherwise 
we shall conquer you by starvation; we shall give you 
neither financial nor economic aid," said world capital. 
And Estonia proved to be one of the small, formally 
independent countries which said to herself, "We rely more 
on the fact that the Bolsheviks are able to live in peace 
with other, weaker nations, even with a bourgeois govern- 
ment, than we do on the whole powerful democratic coun- 
tries of the Entente." 

Democracy is most clearly manifested in the fundamental 
question of war and peace. All the powers are preparing a 
fresh imperialist war, and this is seen daily by the workers 
of the world. Any day now America and Japan will hurl 
themselves at each other; Britain grabbed so many colonies 
after her victory over Germany that the other imperialist 
powers will never resign themselves to this. A new fanatical 
war is being prepared, and the people are aware of this. 
And just at this moment Russia, with her huge forces, who 
is accused of intending to fling those forces against a small 
state as soon as she has finished with Yudenich, Kolchak and 
Denikin — Russia has concluded a democratic peace with 
Estonia. Furthermore, the terms of the peace treaty provide 
for a number of territorial concessions on our part which 



do not completely correspond to the strict observance of 
the principle of self-determination of nations, and prove in 
practice that the question of frontiers is of secondary impor- 
tance to us, the question of peaceful relations, however, the 
question of our ability to await the development of the 
conditions of life of each nation, is not only an important 
question of principle, it is also a matter in which we have 
succeeded in winning the confidence of nations hostile to us. 
It is no accident that we have achieved this in relation to 
Estonia; it is evidence that the weak proletarian republic, 
existing in isolation and apparently helpless, has begun to 
win to its side countries dependent on the imperialist 
states — and they constitute the vast majority. That is 
why our peace with Estonia is of such great historical 
significance. No matter how the Entente strives to start 
a war — even if it succeeds in turning peace once 
again into war — the fact will remain, firmly established 
in history, that despite all the pressure of international 
capital we were able to inspire greater confidence in a 
small country ruled by the bourgeoisie than the so-called 
democratic, but in reality predatory, imperialist 

We by chance came to possess some very interesting 
documents showing how our policy compared with that of 
the allegedly democratic, but in actual fact predatory, 
powers of the whole world, which please permit me to read 
to you. These documents were furnished by a whiteguard 
officer or official named Oleinikov who was commissioned by 
one whiteguard government to hand over some highly impor- 
tant documents to another. But he handed them over to 
us instead." (Applause.) It proved possible to send these 
documents to Russia, and I shall read them to you, although 
it will take some time to do so. Nevertheless, they are 
very interesting for they very clearly reveal the hidden 
springs of policy. The first document is a telegram to Minis- 
ter Gulkevich from Sazonov: 

Paris, October 14, 1919, No. 668. 

S. D. Sazonov conveys his respects to Konstantin Nikolayevich, and 
has the honour to enclose for his information copies of a telegram from 
B. A. Bakhmetev, No. 1050, and a telegram from I. I. Sukin, No. 23, 
on the situation in the Baltic Provinces. 


Then comes a more interesting document — a telegram 
from Washington dated October 11: 

Received October 12, 1919. File No. 3346. 
Bakhmetev to the Minister. 
Washington, October 11, 1919, No. 1050. 
Further to my telegram No. 1045. 

(In code) The State Department acquainted me verbally with the 
instructions given to Gade. He is appointed the Commissar of the Amer- 
ican Government in the Baltic Provinces of Russia. He is not accredit- 
ed to any Russian Government. His mission is to observe and inform. 
His behaviour must not lead the local population to expect that the 
American Government could agree to support separatist trends going 
beyond autonomy. On the contrary, the American Government trusts 
that the population of the Baltic Provinces will help their Russian 
brothers in their work of general state importance. The instructions are 
based on the interpretation of the agreement of the Allied governments 
with the Supreme Ruler as outlined in my memorandum of June 17 
to the government. Gade has been given extracts from the recent 
speeches of the President in which he fulminates against Bolshevism. 

So, the American Government intimates that its repre- 
sentative can issue any kind of instructions but may not 
support independence, i.e., may not guarantee the independ- 
ence of these states. This is what directly or indirectly 
came to light, and Estonia could not be kept in ignorance 
of the fact that she was being deceived by the Great Powers. 
Of course, everyone could have guessed this, but now we 
have the documents and they will be published: 

Received October 12, 1919. File No. 3347 

Sukin to the Minister. 

Omsk, October 9, 1919, No. 28. 

(In code) Knox has given the Supreme Ruler the message of the 
British War Office in which the latter warns of the inclination of the 
Baltic states to conclude a peace with the Bolsheviks who guarantee 
them immediate recognition of their independence. At the same time 
the British War Office raises the question of the advisability of paralys- 
ing this pledge by satisfying, in its turn, the wishes of the states indi- 
cated. We replied to Knox by referring to the principles outlined in the 
Note of the Supreme Ruler to the Powers on June 4, and, in addition, 
we pointed out that the conclusion of a peace between the Baltic states 
and the Bolsheviks would be undoubtedly fraught with danger since 
this would permit the release of part of the Soviet forces and would 
clear the way to the infiltration of Bolshevism in the West. The mere 
fact that they are ready to talk peace is in our opinion evidence of the 
utter demoralisation of the parties of these self-governing entities 



which cannot protect themselves from the penetration of aggressive 

Expressing the conviction that the Powers could not approve of the 
further spread of Bolshevism, we pointed to the necessity of withdraw- 
ing all aid from the Baltic states since this would be a real means of 
exerting influence by the Powers, and is more advisable than competi- 
tion in promises with the Bolsheviks, who now have nothing to lose. 

In transmitting the above, I would request you to make similar 
representations in Paris and London; we are making a special ap- 
proach to Bakhmetev. 

Received October 9, 1919. File No. 3286. 

Sablin to the Minister. 

London, October 7, 1919, No. 677. 

(In code) In a letter to Guchkov, the Director of Military Operations 
of the War Office, to whom Guchkov made an offer of our shipping in 
order to facilitate the delivery of supplies to Yudenich by the British, 
states that in the opinion of the War Office Yudenich has all that he 
requires at the moment, and that Britain is experiencing some dif- 
ficulty in providing further supplies. He adds, however, that as we 
have shipping, we could arrange supplies for Yudenich on a commercial 
basis, providing we obtain credits. At the same time General Radcliffe 
admits that Yudenich's army must be properly equipped since it is 
"the only force among the Baltic states able to engage in active opera- 
tions against the Bolsheviks". 

Minister to Bakhmetev in Washington. 
Paris, September 30, 1919, No. 2442. 

(In code) From a strictly confidential Swedish source I learn that the 
American envoy in Stockholm, Morris, is talking about growing sym- 
pathy in America towards the Bolsheviks and of intentions to cease aid 
to Kolchak in order to enter into contacts with Moscow in the interests 
of American trade. Such statements on the part of an official represent- 
ative make a strange impression. 

Received October 5, 1919. File No. 3244. 
Bakhmetev to the Minister. 
Washington, October 4, 1919, No. 1021. 
Further to your telegram No. 2442. 

(In code) The State Department informed me in confidence that it is 
true that the envoy in Stockholm, Morris, and particularly Hapgood 
in Copenhagen, are well known for their Left sympathies, but that 
they have no influence or authority here, and that the government is 
obliged to admonish them from time to time, categorically pointing 
out that American policy is one of undeviating support of our 
government in the struggle against the Bolsheviks. 

Here are all the documents which we shall publish and 
which clearly show how the battle went on around Estonia, 
how the Entente, Britain and France, together with Kol- 


chak and America, all brought pressure to bear on Estonia 
with the one aim of preventing the signing of a peace treaty 
with the Bolsheviks, and how the Bolsheviks, pledging 
themselves to territorial concessions and guaranteeing 
independence, won this trial of strength. I state that this 
victory is of gigantic historical significance, because it has 
been gained without the use of force. This victory over 
world imperialism is a victory that is bringing the Bolshe- 
viks the sympathy of the whole world. This victory by no 
means denotes that universal peace will be concluded imme- 
diately; but it does show that we-represent the peace inter- 
ests of the majority of the world's population against the 
imperialist war-mongers. Such an assessment of the situa- 
tion has induced bourgeois Estonia, an opponent of commu- 
nism, to conclude peace with us. Since we, a proletarian 
state, a Soviet republic, are concluding a peace treaty, 
since we are acting in a spirit of peace towards bourgeois 
governments oppressed by the great magnates of imperial- 
ism, we must be able to decide from this how our interna- 
tional policy is to be shaped. 

The main task we set ourselves is to defeat the exploiters 
and to win to our side the waverers — this is a task of histor- 
ic significance. Among the waverers are a whole number 
of bourgeois states which, as bourgeois states, detest us, 
but which, on the other hand, as oppressed states, prefer 
peace with us. This explains the peace with Estonia. This 
peace is, of course, only a first step, and its influence will 
only be felt in the future, but that it will be felt is a fact. 
Up to now we have negotiated with Latvia only through 
the Red Cross, 100 and the same is true of our negotiations 
with the Polish Government. I repeat — the peace with Esto- 
nia is bound to influence events because the basis is identi- 
cal; the same attempts are being made to goad Latvia and 
Poland into making war on Russia as were made in the case 
of Estonia. Perhaps these attempts will prove successful, 
and since war with Poland is possible, we must be vigilant, 
but we are certain — this has been demonstrated by our main 
achievements — that we can conclude peace and make 
concessions which permit the development of any form of 
democracy. This is now especially important because the 
Polish question is particularly acute. We have received a 



number of communications indicating that apart from 
bourgeois, conservative, landowning Poland, apart from the 
pressure being exerted by all capitalist parties in Poland, 
all the Entente powers are doing their utmost to incite 
Poland to make war against us. 

As you know, the Council of People's Commissars has 
issued an appeal to the working people of Poland. 101 We 
are going to ask you to endorse this appeal as a means of 
fighting that campaign of calumny in which Polish landown- 
ing circles are engaged. We shall submit an additional 
text of an appeal to the working people of Poland. This 
appeal will be a blow to the imperialist powers, who are 
doing their utmost to incite Poland against us; for us the 
interests of the majority of the people take first place. 

I shall now acquaint you with a telegram intercepted by 
us yesterday, which illustrates the attempts of American 
capital to present us in a certain light and thereby drag us 
into a war with Poland. The telegram says (reads). I have 
said and heard nothing of the sort, but they are able to lie 
because it is not for nothing that they spend their money on 
spreading lying rumours that have a definite aim. Their 
bourgeois government guarantees them this. (Continues 
reading the telegram.) This telegram was sent from Europe 
to America and was paid for out of capitalist funds; it serves 
as a shameless means of provoking a war with Poland. 
American capital is doing its utmost to bring pressure to 
bear on Poland and does this unashamedly, making it appear 
that the Bolsheviks want to finish with Kolchak and Deni- 
kin in order to throw all their "iron troops" against 

It is important that we should here and now endorse the 
decision of the Council of People's Commissars, and then we 
must do what we did previously in relation to other states, 
and also what we did in regard to the troops of Kolchak and 
Denikin. We must immediately appeal to the Polish people 
and explain the real state of affairs. We know full well that 
this method of ours has a most positive effect in tending 
to disrupt the ranks of our enemy. And in the end, this 
method will lead on to the path we need, the path on to 
which it has led the working population of all countries. 
This policy must make a definite beginning — no matter 


how difficult this may prove — and once a beginning is made, 
we shall carry it through to completion. 

I must mention that we have been pursuing the same 
policy in respect of all other countries. We invited Georgia 
and Azerbaijan to conclude an agreement against Denikin. 
They refused, pleading non-interference in the affairs of 
other countries. We shall see how the workers and peasants 
of Georgia and Azerbaijan regard this. 

This policy has been applied even more cautiously in 
respect of the Western nations than in dealing with the na- 
tions of Russia. It involved such countries as Latvia, Esto- 
nia, Poland and, on the other hand, a number of Eastern 
countries whose developmental level is the same as that of 
most of those colonial countries which constitute the major- 
ity of the world's population. They are kept down by Brit- 
ain, who continues to hold colonial slaves under her sway. 
Our policy in relation to West-European countries has been 
very cautious — it will take some time for them to get over 
their own Kerensky period — but our policy in the East 
must be even more cautious and patient, for here we are 
dealing with countries that are much more backward, are 
under the oppressive influence of religious fanaticism, are 
imbued with greater distrust of the Russian people, and 
for decades and centuries were oppressed by the tsarist 
government's capitalist and imperialist policy, by the pol- 
icy conducted towards these nations by Russia as the domi- 
nant nation. 

We have granted autonomy to the Bashkir Republic. 102 
We must found an autonomous Tatar Republic. 103 We 
shall continue the same policy in relation to all the Eastern 
peoples, and say to ourselves that we, who are faced by 
a huge front of imperialist powers, we, who are fighting impe- 
rialism, represent an alliance that requires close military 
unity, and any attempt to violate this unity we regard as 
absolutely impermissible, as a betrayal of the struggle 
against international imperialism. However, in implement- 
ing this policy we must be even more cautious. For if the 
European countries have to go through a Kerensky period, 
in the countries that are at a lower developmental level there 
are even greater elements of distrust, and it will require 
more time to influence them. We support the independence 



and sovereignty of these countries. We appeal to their 
working people. We say: unity of the military forces is im- 
perative; any deviation from this unity is impermissible. 

We are confident that, by systematically pursuing our 
policy of close alliance, we shall achieve greater success 
than before in our relations with the peoples of the East. 
And our success is already great. The Soviet Republic en- 
joys tremendous popularity among all the Eastern peoples 
for the same reason that made it possible for us to conclude 
a peace treaty with a small Western state, because they 
see in us an unswerving fighter against imperialism, 
because ours is the only republic which is waging a war 
against imperialism and is capable of utilising every situa- 
tion without the use of force, and which is also able to gain 
a victory by renouncing the use of force. 

Needless to say, a far more perfected variety of this policy 
is being implemented in relation to the Ukrainian Repub- 
lic. Here the problem has been simplified by the prior con- 
clusion of an agreement between the All-Russia Central 
Executive Committee and the Central Executive Committee 
of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic. 104 On the basis of this 
agreement, which implies a close federation of both repub- 
lics in the struggle against the imperialist countries, we 
are building an ever closer alliance. As a result of their bitter 
experience of Denikin's rule, the mass of Ukrainian peasants 
and workers are becoming convinced that only the closest 
alliance between the Ukraine and the Russian Republic 
will be really invincible in the face of international imperial- 
ism, and that at the time of struggle against imperialism 
there is nothing to be gained by the separation of the Ukraini- 
an state, since imperialism will take advantage of every 
division to crush Soviet power. Such a division is criminal. 
Our policy is taking deep root in the Ukraine, and we are 
confident that the forthcoming All-Ukraine Congress of 
Soviets of Workers and Peasants will officially endorse this 
policy. These are the few remarks to which I must limit 
myself on the question of the international situation. 
I shall ask this session to endorse all the practical proposals 
I have to make (I have enumerated them) on behalf of the 
Council of People's Commissars and the All-Russia Central 
Executive Committee. 


In passing on to the work of internal development I must 
first deal with certain measures taken by our government, 
and then proceed to the most important matter of all — the 
change-over to a new course, the transition from military 
tasks to those of state organisation. 

In regard to our internal policy for the two months under 
review, among the main measures which more or less stand 
out from a number of current tasks, the following decision 
requiring the endorsement of the All-Russia Central Exec- 
utive Committee is of particular importance. This is the 
decision to abolish the death penalty. As you know, immedi- 
ately after the main victory over Denikin, after the capture 
of Rostov, Comrade Dzerzhinsky, the People's Commissar 
for Internal Affairs, who is in charge of the Cheka, submit- 
ted a proposal to the Council of People's Commissars, and 
had it endorsed in his own department, that the passing of 
all death sentences by the Cheka be abolished. When bour- 
geois democracy in Europe does all in its power to spread the 
lies that Soviet Russia is predominantly terrorist, when this 
lie is spread about us by bourgeois democracy and by the 
socialists of the Second International, when Kautsky writes 
a special book entitled Terrorism and Communism in which 
he declares that communist power is based on terrorism, 
then you can well imagine the kind of lies spread on this 
subject. In order to refute this lie we have decided on the 
step taken by Comrade Dzerzhinsky, endorsed by the Coun- 
cil of People's Commissars, and which now needs the ap- 
proval of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee. 

We were forced to use terror in response to the terror 
employed by the Entente, when the mighty powers of the 
world flung their hordes against us, stopping at nothing. 
We could not have lasted two days had we not replied to 
these attempts of officers and whiteguards in a merciless 
fashion. This meant the use of terror, but this was forced on 
us by the terrorist methods of the Entente. But as soon 
as we had gained a decisive victory, even before the end of 
the war, immediately after the capture of Rostov, we re- 
nounced capital punishment, and have therefore proved that 
we intend to carry out our own programme as we had prom- 
ised. We say that the use of violence arises from the need 
to crush the exploiters, the landowners and capitalists. 



When this is accomplished we shall renounce all extraordi- 
nary measures. We have proved this in practice. And 
I think, I hope, and I am confident that the All-Russia 
Central Executive Committee will unanimously endorse 
this measure of the Council of People's Commissars and 
will implement it in such a way that it will be impossible 
to apply the death penalty in Russia. Needless to say, any 
attempt by the Entente to resume methods of war will 
force us to reintroduce the former terror; we know that we 
are living in a time of the law of the jungle, when kind words 
are of no avail. This is what we had in mind, and as soon as 
the decisive struggle was over, we immediately began to 
abolish measures which all other powers apply without any 
time limit having been set. 

Further, I should like to refer to the discussion on Work- 
ers' Inspection. There is to be a special report on this 
subject, and it would be wrong of me to dwell too long on 
it. The most important problem confronting us here is that 
of drawing the mass of people into administrative work. 
This is a more acute problem than the task of large-scale 
development. You will be presented with detailed plans, 
and when you have discussed and amended them, you will 
understand that this development must continue with far 
greater participation by the mass of the workers. This is 
our main task, with which it is extremely difficult to get to 
grips in the existing chaos, but nevertheless we are ap- 
proaching it steadily. 

There is another question before us — the question of 
the co-operatives. We have set ourselves the task of uniting 
the whole population in co-operatives that differ from those 
previously existing and which at best embraced only the 
upper sections of the population. 

Socialism would be impossible if it did not make use of 
the technical knowledge, culture and the apparatus created 
by bourgeois, capitalist civilisation. Part of this apparatus 
is the co-operative movement whose growth is all the greater 
the higher the level of capitalist development in a country. 
We have set our co-operative movement the task of embrac- 
ing the whole country. Up to now the co-operative move- 
ment involved only top sections and benefited those able 
to pay their dues. The working people, however, were 


unable to make use of its services. We have resolutely bro- 
ken with this type of co-operative, but not so that the co- 
operative movement as such is completely wiped out, for 
in March and April 1918 we set the co-operatives the task 
of drawing in the whole population. If there are any co-oper- 
ators who value the ideas of the founders of the co-opera- 
tive movement (the old aims of co-operation were to satisfy 
the needs of the working people), they will sympathise 
with this aim. We are certain that we have the sympathy 
of the majority of the members of the co-operative organi- 
sations, although we are by no means under the illusion 
that we have won to our side the majority of the leaders, 
who subscribe to bourgeois and petty-bourgeois views, who 
see co-operation merely as another form of capitalist economy 
and as the notorious freedom of trade which means fortunes 
for the few and ruin for the majority. Instead of this, we 
announced the country-wide task of the co-operatives to 
really begin catering for the working people so that they 
embrace the whole population. This could not be accom- 
plished at once. We have set ourselves this aim and have 
worked systematically, and will go on working, to achieve it, 
so that ultimately all the population will be united in co- 
operatives; and we can say with certainty that the whole 
of the Soviet Republic, perhaps in a few weeks, or in a few 
months, will become one great co-operative of working 
people. After this the development of independent activity 
by the working people, their participation in state develop- 
ment will proceed along even broader lines. 

In accomplishing this, we have decided that all types, 
not only consumers', but producers', credit, and other co- 
operatives should, by appropriate stages and with due care, 
be amalgamated into a Central Union of Consumers' Socie- 
ties. We are confident that our steps in this direction will 
meet with the approval of the Central Executive Committee 
and functionaries in the localities who, after the formal 
amalgamation of the co-operatives, will, by their work of 
economic development, into which they will draw the major- 
ity of the workers and peasants, achieve what we regard as 
one of the major tasks — that of making the co-operative 
movement another prime factor in the struggle against red 
tape, this legacy from the old capitalist state, a struggle 



which our programme also declares to be of the highest 
importance. We shall carry on this struggle in all offices 
and departments by every means and, incidentally, through 
the amalgamation of the co-operatives and by shifting the 
appeal from the bourgeois top people in the co-operatives 
to the genuine working people, who must all undertake in- 
dependent work in co-operative organisation. 

From among the problems of internal development I now 
wish to refer to what has been done in the sphere of agricul- 
ture. In order to place land tenure on a proper basis, the 
People's Commissar for Agriculture in July 1919 issued 
a circular on measures against the frequent redistribution of 
allotted land. This circular was published on July 1 in 
Izvestia and was included in the Collection of Statutes and 
Decrees of the Workers' and Peasants' Government. This 
circular is important because it meets the many suggestions 
and demands of the peasants who pointed out that the fre- 
quent reallotment of the land in conditions of small-scale 
farming prevented better labour discipline and the higher 
productivity of labour. This view is shared by the Council 
of People's Commissars which has instructed the Commis- 
sariat of Agriculture to work out a draft decree on reallotment 
procedures. This draft will be considered shortly. Similarly, 
the People's Commissariat of Agriculture has set itself the 
task of implementing a number of urgent measures to 
restore livestock and farm equipment. In this connection 
the systematic efforts of local officials themselves are 
extremely important, and we hope that the members of the 
All-Russia Central Executive Committee will bring the 
appropriate pressure to bear on the authorities and render 
assistance, so that these measures of the People's Commis- 
sariat of Agriculture can be put into effect in the shortest 
space of time. 

I shall now turn to the last, and in reality, the most 
important problem of our development — the problem of 
the labour armies and the labour mobilisation of the popula- 
tion. The most difficult task in the sharp turns and changes 
of social life is that of taking due account of the peculiar 
features of each transition. How socialists should fight 
within a capitalist society is not a difficult problem and has 
long since been settled. Nor is it difficult to visualise 


advanced socialist society. This problem has also been settled. 
But the most difficult task of all is how, in practice, to 
effect the transition from the old, customary, familiar capi- 
talism to the new socialism, as yet unborn and without any 
firm foundations. At best this transition will take many 
years, in the course of which our policy will be divided 
into a number of even smaller stages. And the whole difficulty 
of the task which falls to our lot, the whole difficulty of 
politics and the art of politics, lies in the ability to 
take into account the specific tasks of each of these 

We have only just solved — though not yet fully — the 
problem of the war in its principal and basic features. 
Our main task was to repel at all costs the attack of the 
whiteguards. Everything for the war effort, we said, and 
this was the correct policy. We are fully aware that it 
caused unparalleled hardships in the rear such as cold, fam- 
ine and devastation. But the very fact that the Red Army — 
which, incidentally, is appreciated in the way shown by the 
examples I have read out to you — has resolved this problem 
in a most backward country proves that new forces do exist 
in the country. Otherwise the creation of this model army, 
and its victory over far better equipped armies, would have 
been inconceivable. But now we have geared the entire state 
apparatus to this task and have succeeded in surmounting 
the specific features of the problem — the subordination of 
everything to the war effort — the situation demands a swift 
and sharp change in policy. We have not yet finished the 
war. We must maintain our military readiness intact, we 
must destroy Denikin's troops, we must show the land- 
owners and capitalists of every country that if they want to 
deal with Russia by war, they will meet the same fate as 
Kolchak and Denikin. We must not take a single step, there- 
fore, which would weaken our military strength. At the 
same time, however, we must switch the whole country on 
to a different course, reconstruct its whole mechanism. We 
can no longer gear everything to the war effort, and we 
have no need to, because in the main the problem of the 
war has been solved. 

The task of the transition from war to peaceful develop- 
ment arises in such peculiar conditions that we cannot 



disband the army, since we have to allow, say, for the possi- 
bility of an attack by that selfsame Poland or any of the 
powers which the Entente continues to incite against us. 
This specific feature of the problem of not being able to 
reduce our military forces, yet at the same time having to 
switch the whole of the Soviet state machine which is geared 
to war on to the new course of peaceful economic develop- 
ment, demands exceptional attention. It is the type of prob- 
lem that general formulas, the general provisions of a pro- 
gramme, general communist principles cannot cope with, 
but which requires that the specific features of the transition 
from capitalism to communism be taken into consideration, 
the transition from the position of a country whose whole 
attention has been concentrated on the war to the position 
of a country which has won a decisive military victory and 
must go on to solve economic questions by military methods, 
because the situation, as you all realise, is extremely grave. 
The end of the winter will bring, has already brought, the 
working people unbelievable hardships — cold, famine, de- 
vastation. We must overcome this at all costs. We know 
that we can do this. It has been proved by the enthusiasm 
of the Red Army. 

If, up to the present, we were able to battle on, surrounded 
on all sides and cut off from the richest areas of grain and 
coal, now that we possess all this, now that it is possible to 
solve the problems of economic development jointly with 
the Ukraine, we can solve the main problem — to acquire 
large quantities of grain and foodstuffs, deliver them to the 
industrial centres so that industrial development can begin. 
We must concentrate all our efforts on this task. It is inad- 
missible to allow ourselves to be diverted from it to any 
other practical task. It has to be solved by military methods, 
with absolute ruthlessness and by the absolute suppression 
of all other interests. We know that a whole number of per- 
fectly legitimate demands and interests will go by the board, 
but if it were not for these sacrifices, we should not have 
won the war. The situation now demands that we make 
a sharp and swift turn towards the creation of a basis for 
peaceful economic development. This basis must be the 
acquisition of great stocks of food and their transportation 
to the central region; it is the task of the railways to 


deliver raw materials and provisions. From August 1917 to 
August 1918 we collected 30 million poods of grain, in the 
second year 110 million, and now in five months 90 million 
have been collected by our Commissariat of Food, collected 
by socialist, not capitalist methods, by compulsory delivery 
of grain by the peasants at fixed prices, and not by selling 
on the free market — and this means that we have found the 
way. We are certain that it is the correct way and that it 
will enable us to achieve results which will ensure tremen- 
dous economic development. 

All our forces must be dedicated to this task, all our 
military forces, which came to the fore in war-time organ- 
isation, must be switched on to this new path. This is the 
specific situation, the specific transition, which engendered 
the idea of labour armies and led to the law on the creation 
of the first labour army in the Urals and of the Ukrainian 
labour army. It was followed by the law on the utilisation 
of the army reserves for civilian labour and the decree 
issued by the Soviet government on the Committees for 
Labour Conscription. 105 All these laws will be outlined to 
you by a member of the All-Russia Central Executive Com- 
mittee in a fully detailed report. I naturally cannot trespass 
on this ground because the special report will throw suffi- 
cient light upon it. I only emphasise its significance in re- 
lation to our general policy, the significance of this transi- 
tion which confronts us with its specific tasks, for which we 
must redouble our efforts like soldiers, to organise them so 
that we can lay in large stocks of food and deliver them to 
the industrial centres. To achieve this we must at all costs 
create labour armies, organise ourselves like an army, 
reduce, even close down a whole number of institutions so 
that in the next few months, no matter what happens, we 
can overcome transport dislocation, and emerge from this 
desperate situation of cold, famine and impoverishment 
brought by the end of winter. We must and can get out of 
this situation. When the All-Russia Central Executive 
Committee endorses all the measures connected with labour 
conscription and the labour armies, when it has succeeded in 
instilling these ideas in the broad mass of the population 
and demands that they be put into practice by local offi- 
cials — we are absolutely convinced that then we shall be able 



to cope with this most difficult of tasks, while not in the 
least degree weakening our military readiness. 

We must at all costs, without weakening our military 
readiness, switch the Soviet Republic on to the new course 
of economic development. This task must be accomplished 
in the next few weeks, possibly months. Every Soviet or 
Party organisation must do everything in its power to end 
the transport dislocation and increase the grain stocks. 

Then, and only then, shall we have a basis, a sound basis 
for industrial development on a wide scale, for the elec- 
trification of Russia. In order to prove to the population, 
and in particular to the peasants, that our extensive plans 
in this field are not fantasies, but are borne out by and based 
on technology and science, I think we should adopt a reso- 
lution — I hope the Central Executive Committee will en- 
dorse it — recommending that the Supreme Economic Coun- 
cil and the Commissariat of Agriculture jointly draft a plan 
for the electrification of Russia. 

Thanks to the aid of the State Publishing House and the 
energy of the workers at the former Kushnerev Printing 
Works, now the 17th State Printing Works, I succeeded in 
getting Krzhizhanovsky's pamphlet The Main Tasks of 
the Electrification of Russia published at very short notice, 
and tomorrow it will be distributed to all members of the 
All-Russia Central Executive Committee. This pamphlet of 
Comrade Krzhizhanovsky's, who works in the Electro- 
Technical Sub-Department of the Supreme Economic 
Council, summarises what has already been achieved and 
raises questions, the popularisation of which, not the prac- 
tical application, is now one of the most important tasks. 

I hope that the Central Executive Committee will adopt 
this resolution which, in the name of the Central Executive 
Committee, instructs the Supreme Economic Council and 
the People's Commissariat of Agriculture to work out in 
the course of the next few months — our practical tasks 
during this period will be different — with the aid of scien- 
tists and engineers a broad and complete plan for the elec- 
trification of Russia. The author of this pamphlet is abso- 
lutely correct in choosing as its motto the saying: "The age 
of steam is the age of the bourgeoisie, the age of electricity 
is the age of socialism." We must have a new technical foun- 


dation for the new economic development. This new techni- 
cal foundation is electricity, and everything will have to 
be built on this foundation, but it will take many long 
years. We shall not be afraid of working ten or twenty years, 
but we must prove to the peasants that in place of the old 
separation of industry from agriculture, this very deep 
contradiction on which capitalism thrived and which sowed 
dissension between the industrial and agricultural workers, 
we set ourselves the task of returning to the peasant the 
loan we received from him in the form of grain, for we know 
that paper money, of course, is not the equivalent of bread. 
We must repay this loan by organising industry and sup- 
plying the peasants with its products. We must show the peas- 
ants that the organisation of industry on the basis of 
modern, advanced technology, on electrification which will 
provide a link between town and country, will put an end 
to the division between town and country, will make it 
possible to raise the level of culture in the countryside and 
to overcome, even in the most remote corners of the land, 
backwardness, ignorance, poverty, disease and barbarism. 
We shall tackle the problem as soon as we have dealt with 
our current, basic task, and we shall not allow ourselves to 
be deflected for a single moment from the fundamental 
practical task. 

In the next few months all our energies must be concen- 
trated on food deliveries and the extension of our resources 
of food supplies. There must not be the slightest departure 
from this. At the same time let the scientists and techni- 
cians produce a long-term plan for the electrification of all 
Russia. 106 Let the links which we have established with 
the outside world, with capitalist Europe, that gateway 
which we made for ourselves by concluding peace with 
Estonia, serve to provide us immediately with essential 
technical aid. When, in the next few months, we have solved 
the basic problems of transport and foods supplies, when 
we have solved the problem of labour conscription, on which 
problems we shall wholly concentrate all our energies, not 
allowing ourselves to be deflected from this by anything 
else for a few months — when we have accomplished this 
we shall prove that we can go on with developmental tasks 
that will last many years and put the whole of Russia on to 



an advanced technological footing, abolishing the division 
between town and country, and making it possible to con- 
quer completely and decisively the backwardness of the 
countryside, its scattered economy and its ignorance, from 
which stem all the stagnation, all the backwardness, all 
the oppression that have existed up to now. And in this 
matter, that of the peaceful struggle on the bloodless front 
of the reorganisation of industry, we shall, if we employ 
all our military skill and all our energy, and concentrate 
all our forces on the fulfilment of this task, achieve success 
that will be even more decisive, even more glorious, than 
those we have won in the military field. (Applause.) 

Brief reports published Published according to 

on February 3, 1920 the verbatim report 

in Pravda No. 23, 
and in Izvestia No. 23 

First published in full 
in the Fourth (Russian) 
Edition of the Collected Works 



Having at last received an official proposal from the 
Independents (German) to conduct negotiations we, as a 
party, must now answer them with complete frankness, 
without the diplomacy that is, to a certain extent, oblig- 
atory for the Communist International. 

The answer must be such as will explain the issue to the 
masses of workers who sympathise with the dictatorship 
of the proletariat and the Soviet system — workers that not 
only in Germany, but also in France and Britain and a 
number of other countries, are being deceived (deliberately 
and unwittingly, i.e., by force of self-deception) by leaders 
who in words alone subscribe to the slogans that are popular 
among the workers (dictatorship of the proletariat and So- 
viet power) but are actually conducting their work, propa- 
ganda, agitation, etc., in the old way, not in the spirit of 
these slogans but in a spirit that contradicts these 

The following is a rough draft of the theses for this answer 
(from the R.C.P. to the German Independent Social-Demo- 
cratic Party): 

(the sequence of the points must also be changed) 
1. The dictatorship of the proletariat implies the ability, 
readiness and determination to attract to our side (to the 
side of the revolutionary vanguard of the proletariat) the 
entire mass of working and exploited people by means of 
revolutionary measures, by expropriating the exploiters. 



There is nothing of this in the day-to-day agitation of 
the German Independents (in Freiheit, 108 for instance). 
Nor do the Longuetists have anything of it. 

2. In particular, such agitation is especially necessary 
for rural proletarians and semi-proletarians and also for 
small peasants (peasants who do not employ hired labour 
even at the height of the harvest, etc., peasants who sell lit- 
tle or no grain). These sections of the population must have 
explained to them daily, popularly, with extreme simplic- 
ity and concreteness that when the proletariat has seized 
state power, it will give them an immediate improvement in 
their conditions by expropriating the landowners. It will 
deliver them from the yoke of the big landowners, will hand 
over big estates to them in their entirety, will free them 
from debt, etc., etc. The same applies to the urban non- 
proletarian, or not fully proletarian, mass of working people. 

The German Independents (like the Longuetists) do not 
carry on such agitation. 

3. The Soviet system is the destruction of that bourgeois 
falsehood known as "freedom of the press" — i.e., freedom 
to bribe the press, freedom for the rich, the capitalists, to 
buy up newspapers, freedom for the capitalists to buy up 
hundreds of newspapers and in this way fabricate the 
so-called public opinion. 

The German Independents (when speaking of them it is 
always to be understood that the Longuetists, the British 
Independents, etc., etc., are included) do not admit this 
truth, do not spread it, do not agitate daily for the abolition 
by revolutionary means of the enslavement by capital of the 
press which bourgeois democrats falsely call freedom of 
the press. 

The Independents do not carry on any such agitation and 
recognise Soviet power by way of lip-service alone (Lippen- 
bekenntniss); in actual fact they are fully weighed down by 
the prejudices of bourgeois democracy. 

They cannot explain the main thing, the expropriation 
of the printing works and warehouses and the supplies of 
paper, because they do not understand it. 

4. The same applies to freedom of assembly (which is 
a falsehood as long as the rich own the best buildings and 
buy up public buildings), to "arming of the people", to 



freedom of conscience (= freedom for capital to buy or bribe 
whole church organisations for the purpose of doping the 
masses with the opium of religion), and to all other bour- 
geois-democratic liberties. 

5. The dictatorship of the proletariat means the over- 
throw of the bourgeoisie by a single class, the proletariat, 
and by its revolutionary vanguard at that. To demand that 
this vanguard should first ensure the support of the majori- 
ty of the people through elections to bourgeois parliaments, 
bourgeois constituent assemblies, etc., i.e., by elections 
held while wage-slavery still exists, while the exploiters 
exist and exercise their oppression, and while the means 
of production are privately owned — to demand this or to 
assume it is actually abandoning the standpoint of the dic- 
tatorship of the proletariat and going over to the standpoint 
of bourgeois democracy. 

That is how the German Independents and the French 
Longuetists act. These parties' repetition of the petty-bour- 
geois democrats' phrases about the majority of the "people" 
(deceived by the bourgeoisie and crushed by capital) 
places them objectively on the side of the bourgeoisie against 
the proletariat. 

6. The dictatorship of the proletariat implies and sig- 
nifies a clear concept of the truth that the proletariat, 
because of its objective economic position in every capital- 
ist society, correctly expresses the interests of the entire 
mass of working and exploited people, all semi-proletarians 
(i.e., those who live partly by the sale of their labour- 
power), all small peasants and similar categories. 

These sections do not follow the bourgeois and petty- 
bourgeois parties (including the "socialist" parties of the 
Second International) by the free expression of their will 
(as petty-bourgeois democrats assume) but because they are 
directly deceived by the bourgeoisie, because of pressure 
by capital and because of the self-deception of the petty- 
bourgeois leaders. 

The proletariat will attract these sections of the popula- 
tion (semi-proletarians and small peasants) to its side, and 
can attract them to its side, only after it has achieved a 
victory, only after it has won state power, that is, after the 
proletariat has overthrown the bourgeoisie, and emancipated 



all working people from the yoke of capital and shown 
them in practice the benefits (the benefits of freedom from 
the exploiters) accruing from proletarian state power. 

This is the concept that constitutes the basis and essence 
of the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat; the German 
Independents and French Longuetists do not understand 
it, do not spread it among the masses and do not propagan- 
dise it daily. 

7. The dictatorship of the proletariat implies a recog- 
nition of the necessity to suppress the resistance of the ex- 
ploiters by force, and the readiness, ability and determina- 
tion to do it. The bourgeoisie, even the most republican 
and democratic bourgeoisie (for instance, in Germany, Switz- 
erland and the U.S.A.), have regular recourse to pogroms, 
lynching, assassination, armed violence and terror against 
Communists and actually against all revolutionary steps 
taken by the proletariat; to reject force or terror under such 
circumstances is tantamount to turning into a snivelling 
petty bourgeois, to spreading reactionary petty-bourgeois 
illusions about social peace and, to put it concretely, is 
tantamount to fear of the belligerent army officer. 

The most criminal and most reactionary imperialist war 
of 1914-18 trained many tens of thousands of reactionary 
officers and pushed them into the forefront of politics in all 
countries, even the most democratic republics; these offic- 
ers prepare and effect acts of terror for the benefit of the 
bourgeoisie, for the benefit of capital against the proleta- 

The attitude to terror displayed by the German Independ- 
ents and the French Longuetists in their parliamentary 
speeches, in newspaper articles and in all their propaganda 
and agitation is nothing less than the complete rejection of 
the real dictatorship of the proletariat, is an actual change- 
over to the position of the petty-bourgeois democrat and 
is corrupting the revolutionary consciousness of the 

8. The same is true of civil war. Following the imperial- 
ist war, when we are confronted with reactionary generals 
and officers who employ terror against the proletariat, when 
we are confronted with the fact that the present policy of 
all bourgeois states is the preparation of fresh imperialist 



wars — wars are not only being deliberately prepared but 
are objectively inevitable as a result of all their politics — 
under these conditions, in such circumstances to bemoan a 
civil war against the exploiters, to condemn it and to fear 
it is tantamount to becoming a reactionary. 

It means fearing the victory of the workers that may pos- 
sibly cost tens of thousands of lives and allowing for certain 
another imperialist bloodbath that yesterday cost millions 
of lives and will tomorrow cost millions more. 

It means giving real encouragement to the reactionary 
and rapacious tendencies, schemes and preparations of the 
bourgeois generals and officers. 

Such is the reactionary nature of the sugary, petty-bour- 
geois, sentimental position of the German Independents and 
the French Longuetists in the question of the civil war. 
They close their eyes to the intrigues of the White Guard and 
to its training and formation by the bourgeoisie and hypo- 
critically, pharisaically (or cowardly) turn their backs on 
work to create a Red Guard, a proletarian Red Army that is 
capable of crushing the resistance of the exploiters. 

9. The dictatorship of the proletariat and Soviet power 
imply a clear notion of the need to break, to smash to smith- 
ereens the bourgeois (even if it is republican-democratic) 
state machinery, the courts, the bureaucracy, both civil 
and military, etc. 

The German Independents and the French Longuetists do 
not display any consciousness of this truth, nor do they 
carry on day-to-day agitation on behalf of it. Worse even — 
they conduct all their agitation in the contrary spirit. 

10. Every revolution (as distinguished from a reform) 
by its very nature implies a crisis, and a very deep crisis 
at that, both political and economic. This is irrespective 
of the crisis brought about by the war. 

It is the task of the revolutionary party of the proletar- 
iat to explain to the workers and peasants that they must 
have the courage to meet this crisis boldly and find in revo- 
lutionary measures a source of strength with which to over- 
come the crisis. Only by surmounting the greatest crises 
with revolutionary enthusiasm, with revolutionary energy, 
with revolutionary preparedness to make the greatest sac- 
rifices, can the proletariat defeat the exploiters and 



liberate mankind entirely from wars, the oppression of cap- 
ital and wage-slavery. 

There is no other way, because the reformist attitude to 
capitalism yesterday engendered the imperialist bloodbath 
(and will certainly-do the same tomorrow) involving millions 
of people and endless crises. 

This is the main idea without which the dictatorship 
of the proletariat is an empty phrase; the Independents and 
the Longuetists do not understand it and do not include it in 
their agitation and propaganda, do not explain it to the 

11. The Independents and the Longuetists do not develop 
and do not make more profound the consciousness of the 
masses that the reformism that factually dominated in the 
Second International (1889-1914) and destroyed it was de- 
cadent and ruinous; on the contrary they dull that conscious- 
ness, they hide the disease and do not reveal it, do not 
expose it. 

12. On leaving the Second International and condemning 
it verbally (in Crispien's pamphlet, for instance) the Inde- 
pendents actually held out a hand to Friedrich Adler, a mem- 
ber of the Austrian party of the Noskes and Scheidemanns. 

The Independents tolerate among their number writers 
who completely reject the basic concepts of the dictatorship 
of the proletariat. 

This divergence of word and deed is typical of the entire 
policy of the leaders of the Independent Party in Germany 
and of the Longuetists in France. It is precisely the leaders 
who share the prejudices of the petty-bourgeois democrats 
and of the upper stratum of the proletariat that has been 
corrupted by reformism, contrary to the revolutionary 
sympathies of the masses of workers who gravitate towards 
the Soviet system. 

13. The Independents and the Longuetists do not under- 
stand and do not explain to the masses that the imperialist 
superprofits of the advanced countries enabled them (and 
still enable them) to bribe the top stratum of the proletariat, 
to throw them some crumbs from the superprofits (obtained 
from the colonies and from the financial exploitation of 
weak countries), to create a privileged section of skilled 
workers, etc. 



Without the exposure of this evil, without a struggle 
against both the trade union bureaucracy and all manifesta- 
tions of petty-bourgeois guildism, against the working-class 
aristocracy, the privileges of the upper stratum of workers, 
without the ruthless removal from the revolutionary party 
of those imbued with this spirit, without an appeal to the 
lower strata, to ever wider sections of the masses, to the real 
majority of the exploited — without all this there can be no 
question of the dictatorship of the proletariat. 

14. This unwillingness or inability to break with the 
top stratum of workers who are infected with imperialism, 
is also found among the Independents and the Longuetists 
in their not conducting agitation for the direct, unqualified 
support for all insurrections and revolutionary movements 
of colonial peoples. 

Under such circumstances the condemnation of colonial 
policy and of imperialism is either sheer hypocrisy or the 
empty sighing of a stupid philistine. 

15. The Independents and Longuetists do not carry on 
agitation among the troops (that they join the forces for 
the purpose of preparing their going over to the side of the 
workers against the bourgeoisie). They do not create organ- 
isations for this work. 

They do not respond to the violence of the bourgeoisie, 
to their endless contraventions of "legality" (both during 
the imperialist war and after it) using for this the regular 
propaganda of illegal organisations and creating such organ- 

Unless there is a combination of legal and illegal work, 
of legal and illegal organisations, there can be no question 
of a truly revolutionary party of the proletariat in Germany, 
in Switzerland, in Britain, in France or in the U.S.A. 

16. By and large, all propaganda and agitation, all 
organisational work of the Independents and the Longuetists 
is more petty-bourgeois-democratic than revolutionary- 
proletarian — it is pacifist and not social-revolutionary. 

In view of this the "recognition" of the dictatorship of 
the proletariat and of Soviet power remains purely verbal. 



Summary. In the prevailing situation the R.C.P. deems 
the only correct solution to be not to unite with the Inde- 
pendents and the Longuetists in one International, but to 
bide our time until the revolutionary masses of the French 
and German workers correct the weakness, errors, preju- 
dices and inconsistencies of such parties as the Independents 
and the Longuetists. 

In the opinion of the R.C.P. there is no place for such 
parties in the Communist International. 

The R.C.P., however, does not reject conferences with 
all parties that desire to confer with it and know its opinion. 

Published in March 1920 

Published according to 
the manuscript 


FEBRUARY 5, 1920 


V. I. Lenin, greeted with stormy applause, delivered a 
long speech. 

"The most outstanding fact in the world situation," 
said Comrade Lenin, "is the peace with Estonia. This peace 
is a window into Europe. It opens up before us the possi- 
bility of beginning an exchange of goods with the West. 
Our enemies maintained that the revolution in the West is 
far away and that we would not be able to hold out without 
it. We have not only held out, however, we have won a vic- 

"We won without obtaining a single cartridge from any- 
where, we won only because the workers and Red Army sol- 
diers know what they are fighting for. 

"If the small nations that are playthings in the hands of 
the Entente begin to wish for peace with Soviet Russia, 
this is to be explained by our having shown in practice how 
the imperialists have deceived them and how gladly the 
Russian proletariat extends to them the hand of peace. 
Poland will follow Estonia. Information has been received 
that Soviet Russia's peace proposals will be discussed in 
Poland. This bloodless victory is of tremendous importance." 

Lenin went over to the internal situation and showed 
that it boiled down to a struggle against chaos on the rail- 
ways. Railway transport was hanging by a hair. If the trains 
stopped running that would mean the end of the proletar- 
ian centres. Heroic efforts on the part of the masses of 



workers would be needed to maintain transport and facili- 
tate the struggle against hunger and cold. Unparalleled 
heroism proved possible during the Civil War which claimed 
so many victims, and that heroism and those sacrifices 
that decided the war in our favour were still essential now 
that the war had shifted to another front, the industrial 
front. Victory was now essential on this bloodless front. 

"It must be understood that sacrifices are also needed 
here," continued the speaker. "Sacrifices must be made to 
restore the country's economy. 'Victory or Death' must be- 
come the slogan on the industrial front. It is necessary for 
workers to be conscious of the need for the tensest struggle 
for victory on this front. There is a hard struggle ahead and 
it will have to be carried on by tired and hungry workers; 
if, however, they realise that the fate of the working class 
depends on the outcome of this struggle, they will win out." 

The question of transport was being discussed by the 
Council of Defence, but the workers themselves would have 
to muster for the struggle against the transport chaos and 
the profiteering that intensified the chaos. Those who did 
not give their grain surpluses to the state were turning the 
railways into an instrument for profiteering, they were 
enemies, and politically-conscious workers should muster 
for the struggle against them. 

"We led the Red Army to victory by strict, iron disci- 
pline as well as agitation. What has been organised in the 
Red Army must also be created on all the fronts of labour. 
The entire experience of the creation of the Red Army must 
be transferred to the army of railway workers so that it can 
rise to the same heights as the Red Army. Without sacrifice, 
without iron discipline, without the employment of special- 
ists the Red Army would not have been victorious, and with- 
out them the railway army will not be victorious." (Ap- 

Petrogradskaya Pravda No. 28, 
February 7, 1920 

Published according to 
the Petrogradskaya Pravda text 



The landowners and capitalists, who have been over- 
thrown by the workers and peasants of Russia, have forced 
two years of civil war upon us with the help of the capital- 
ists of the whole world. 

We are ending this war victoriously. 

We have already gained the first peace, which has demon- 
strated the superiority of our foreign policy over the pol- 
icy of the united capitalists of all countries. These cap- 
italists did their utmost to prevent peace between Estonia 
and us. We have beaten them. We have concluded peace 
with Estonia — the first peace; it will be followed by others, 
opening up for us the possibility of trading with Europe and 

The bloody war which the exploiters forced upon us we 
are ending victoriously. During these two years we have 
learned how to win; and we have won. 

Now comes the turn of a bloodless war. 

Let us work for victory on the front of the bloodless 
war against hunger and cold, against typhus and destruction, 
against ignorance and economic chaos! 

This bloodless war has been forced upon us by the de- 
struction caused by four years of imperialist war and two 
years of civil war. In order to defeat the poverty and want, 
the hunger and hardships caused by these wars, we must keep 
firmly in mind, must thoroughly grasp and everywhere and 
at all costs observe the maxim, a la guerre comme a la 

The workers and peasants were able to create a Red Army 
without the landowners and capitalists and against them, and 
were able to defeat the exploiters. 



The workers and peasants will be able to create Red 
armies of peaceful labour — they will be able to win new 
happiness for themselves by restoring agriculture and in- 

The first and chief step towards this is the restoration of 
the transport system which must be done at all costs, immedi- 
ately, with revolutionary energy, and must be carried out 
with military determination, solidarity, speed and selfless 

Let's get on with the job, comrades! 

Let us show that in the sphere of peaceful labour we can 
display even greater marvels of heroism and victory than in 
the arena of war against the exploiters! 

February 7, 1920 

Pravda No. 28, 
February 8, 1920 
Signed: N. Lenin 

Published according to 
the Pravda text 


FEBRUARY 9, 1920 


In his speech Lenin dealt with two burning questions of 
present-day Soviet life — the international situation and the 
labour front. 

"By its victories," Lenin said, "our Red Army has consol- 
idated the position of Soviet Russia and has secured for us 
the first victory over the Entente imperialists. How is this 
victory to be explained? It is clear that it was not achieved 
by the victories at the front alone, but by our having won 
over the soldiers of the countries warring against us. The 
Allies corrupted their own armies by landing troops in our 
country and were soon forced to withdraw them. The sol- 
diers refused to fight us. The very expression 'Soviet gov- 
ernment,' that is, a government of the working people, 
brings joy to the hearts of the proletarians all over the 

"By means of agitation and propaganda, we deprived the 
Entente of its own troops. We defeated the imperialists not 
only with the aid of our soldiers, but also by relying on 
the sympathy the Entente soldiers felt for us. On the other 
hand, we gave a practical demonstration to the small neigh- 
bouring states that our policy is a peaceful one. Britain, 
through its mouthpiece, Churchill, threatened to send four- 
teen states against us; but this campaign collapsed when 
concurrently with our victories, we kept making proposals 
for peace. We proposed peace to Estonia without insisting on 
any particular frontiers, knowing only that we did not want 



to shed the blood of workers and peasants for the sake of 
any frontiers. 

"The removal of the blockade is exclusively to be attrib- 
uted to the sympathy which Soviet power inspires among 
the workers of the hostile countries. In Italy, matters have 
gone so far that a congress of socialist parties has unanimously 
adopted a resolution demanding the raising of the blockade 
of Soviet Russia and the resumption of trade relations. 
Although they do not love the Bolsheviks, the bourgeois gov- 
ernments of the small countries have become convinced that 
the Bolsheviks want to live on good-neighbourly terms with 
them, whereas those on whose side General Denikin or any 
other general is, would tear up all the scraps of paper prom- 
ising independence to the small nations immediately after 
gaining victory. Without a single gun, without a single 
machine-gun, without firing a single shot, we have concluded 
peace; we have laid the foundation for the conclusion of peace 
with all the countries that are waging war on us. We have 
shown that all governments have to lay down their arms in 
face of the peace policy of the Soviet government. 

"We have already cut a window opening on to Europe, 
and we shall try to make wide use of it. Attempts are being 
made to incite Poland against us. But these attempts will 
fail, and the time is not far off when we shall conclude peace 
with all of them, although they say that they will not recog- 
nise us. They are mortally afraid of the spread of the 
Bolshevik infection at home; but although they have 
surrounded themselves with a Chinese Wall the Bol- 
shevik infection already exists in each of these countries, 
it lurks in their midst. This infection was brought by the 
French and British soldiers who had been to Soviet Russia 
and had breathed her air. We have thus gained two victories. 
We have smashed the whiteguard hordes on all fronts, and 
we are winning peace on a world scale, winning it not with 
guns, but by the sympathy we have been able to inspire not 
only in the workers but even in the bourgeois governments of 
the small nationalities." 

Lenin then went on to deal briefly with the labour front. 

"Comrades," he said, "spring is approaching; we have been 
through an extraordinarily difficult winter of cold, hunger, 
typhus and railway chaos. We must be victorious on this 



front too. Just as we were able to sacrifice everything during 
the war and to give our best forces — the advanced workers, 
Communists and political and military students died in 
the front ranks and thus raised the morale of the whole 
army — so now we say that we must win on the front of eco- 
nomic chaos, the Communists and the advanced workers, 
the most honest and conscientious, the finest and staunch- 
est, must be in the forefront, as they were then; every train, 
every locomotive must be won by struggle, must be fought 
for. That is my appeal to the non-party conference. 

"Comrades, before concluding my speech I would like to 
say a few words about the measures decided on at the last 
session of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee. The 
session decided on a number of measures which will shortly 
be published in the newspapers, and which should be read 
and discussed at all meetings of workers, in clubs, factories 
and Red Army units. One of the most important decisions 
of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee, one to which 
in my opinion the most profound attention should be di- 
rected, concerns the fight against red tape in our institutions. 
One of the measures is the decision of the All-Russia Cen- 
tral Executive Committee to transform our state control into 
a workers' and peasants' control, or a workers' inspection. 110 
We shall not drive out the old officials — just as we did not 
drive the experts out of the army, but attached worker com- 
missars to them — we must attach groups of workers to these 
bourgeois experts, to look on, to learn and to take this work 
into their own hands. Workers must enter all the govern- 
ment establishments so as to supervise the entire government 
apparatus. And this should be done by the non-party work- 
ers, who should elect their representatives at non-party 
conferences of workers and peasants. They must come to 
the assistance of the Communists who are being overtaxed by 
the tremendous burden they have to bear. We must pour as 
many workers and peasants as possible into this apparatus. 
We shall tackle this job and accomplish it, and thus drive 
red tape out of our institutions. The broad non-party masses 
must keep a check on all government affairs, and must 
themselves learn to govern." 

Pravda No. 32, 
February 13, 1920 

Published according to 
the Pravda text 




Citizen Jean Longuet has sent me a letter consisting 
mainly of the same complaints as those contained in his ar- 
ticle, "How Are the Russians Deceived?" (Populaire, 111 
January 10, 1920.) Longuet has also sent me this issue of 
his newspaper together with a leaflet of the Committee for 
the Reconstruction of the International (Comite pour la 
reconstruction de l'lnternationale) 112 . The leaflet contains 
two draft resolutions for the forthcoming congress of the 
French Socialist Party 113 in Strasbourg. It is signed on be- 
half of the Committee for the Reconstruction of the Inter- 
national by 24 persons: Amedee Dunois, Citizeness Fanny 
Clar, Caussy, Maurice Delepine, Paul Faure, Ludovic- 
Oscar Frossard, Eugene Frot, Henri Gourdeaux, Citizeness 
Leyciagnre, Andre Le Troquer, Paul Louis, Jean Longuet, 
Maurice Maurin, Barthelemy Mayeras, Joan Mouret, Geor- 
ges Mauranges, Palicot, Pecher, Citizeness Marianne Rauze, 
Daniel Renault, Servantier, Sixte Quenin, Tommasi, 
Raoul Verfeuil. 

It seems to me superfluous to reply to Jean Longuet's 
complaints and attacks: adequate replies have been given in 
F. Loriot's article in Vie Ouvriere 114 of January 16, 1920, 
entitled "Gently, Longuet!" ("Tout doux, Longuet!"), and 
in Trotsky's article in the Communist International 115 
No. 7-8, entitled "Jean Longuet". Very little remains to be 
added; perhaps only that it would be a good thing to collect 
material for a history of the failure of the strike of July 
21, 1919. 116 But I cannot do this from Moscow. All I have seen 
is a quotation from Avanti! 111 published in an Austrian 



Communist paper, exposing the despicable role played 
in this affair by one of the most despicable of the social- 
traitors (or anarcho-traitors?), the former syndicalist and 
anti-parliamentary windbag, Jouhaux. Why should not 
Longuet give somebody the job, which can be easily done in 
Paris, of collecting all the documents, all the comments and 
articles in the European Communist papers, and all the 
special interviews with the leaders and participants con- 
cerned, on the failure of the strike of July 21, 1919? We would 
be delighted to publish such a work. The "socialist education" 
about which the "Centrists" of the whole world (the Independ- 
ents in Germany, the Longuetists in France, the I. L. P. 118 
in Britain, etc.) talk so often and so readily must be under- 
stood to mean the firm exposure of the mistakes of the leaders 
and the mistakes of the movement and not the pedantic and 
doctrinaire repetition of general socialist phrases, which 
everybody is tired of hearing and which, since 1914-18, 
nobody trusts. 

An example of this — all the leaders and all the promi- 
nent members of the socialist parties, the trade unions and 
the workers' co-operative societies who advocated the 
"defence of the fatherland" in the war of 1914-18, acted as 
traitors to socialism. The real work of "socialist education" 
implies the persistent exposure of their mistake, the syste- 
matic explanation that this war was, in respect of both sides, 
a war between bandits for the division of the spoils, and 
that a repetition of such a war is inevitable unless the prole- 
tariat overthrows the bourgeoisie by revolutionary means. 

The resolutions I have referred to speak about such work 
of education, but what is actually being done is a work of 
socialist corruption, for treason, treachery, routine, iner- 
tia, careerism, philistinism and mistakes are hushed up, 
whereas real education consists in overcoming and removing 


Neither of the resolutions of the Longuetists is of any 
use — although, incidentally, they are very useful in one 
particular sphere, that of showing what, at the present mo- 
ment, is perhaps the most dangerous evil for the working-class 



movement in the West. The evil is this: the old leaders, 
observing what an irresistible attraction Bolshevism and 
Soviet government have for the masses, are seeking {and 
often finding!) a way of escape in the verbal recognition of 
the dictatorship of the proletariat and Soviet government, 
although they actually either remain enemies of the dicta- 
torship of the proletariat, or are unable or unwilling to 
understand its significance and to carry it into effect. 

The fall of the first Soviet Republic in Hungary (the 
first, which fell, will be followed by a second, which will 
be victorious) shows clearly how vast, how immense is the 
danger of this evil. A number of articles in the Vienna Rote 
Fahne, 119 the Central Organ of the Austrian Communist 
Party, have revealed one of the chief reasons for its fall, 
namely, the treachery of the "socialists", who went over to 
Bela Kun 120 verbally and proclaimed themselves Commu- 
nists, but who actually did not pursue a policy consonant 
with the dictatorship of the proletariat; they vacillated, 
played the coward, made advances to the bourgeoisie, and in 
part directly sabotaged and betrayed the proletarian revo- 
lution. Naturally, the powerful brigands of imperialism 
(i.e., the bourgeois governments of Britain, France, etc.) 
that surrounded the Hungarian Soviet Republic made good 
use of these vacillations within the Hungarian Soviet govern- 
ment and used the Rumanian butchers to crush it. 

There can be no doubt that some of the Hungarian social- 
ists went over to Bela Kun sincerely, and sincerely proclaimed 
themselves Communists. But that changes nothing essen- 
tial: a man who "sincerely" proclaims himself a Communist, 
but who in practice vacillates and plays the coward instead 
of pursuing a ruthlessly firm, unswervingly determined and 
supremely courageous and heroic policy (and only such a 
policy is consonant with recognition of the dictatorship of 
the proletariat) — such a man, in his weakness of character, 
vacillations and irresolution, is just as much guilty of 
treachery as a direct traitor. As far as the individual is 
concerned, there is a very great difference between a man 
whose weakness of character makes him a traitor and one 
who is a deliberate, calculating traitor; but in politics there 
is no such difference, because politics involves the actual 
fate of millions of people, and it makes no difference whether 



the millions of workers and poor peasants are betrayed by 
those who are traitors from weakness of character or by those 
whose treachery pursues selfish aims. 

We cannot yet say which of the Longuetists who signed 
the resolutions we are discussing will prove to belong to 
the first category, which to the second and which to some 
third, and it would be idle to speculate on it. The important 
thing is that these Longuetists, as a political trend, are now 
pursuing exactly the same policy as the Hungarian "social- 
ists" and "Social-Democrats" who brought about the fall 
of the Soviet government in Hungary. It is precisely this 
policy that the Longuetists are pursuing, for verbally they 
proclaim themselves supporters of the dictatorship of 
the proletariat and Soviet government, but actually they con- 
tinue to behave in the old way and to defend in their resolu- 
tions and to carry out in practice the old policy of petty 
concessions to social-chauvinism, opportunism and bour- 
geois democracy, the policy of vacillation, irresolution, 
evasiveness, subterfuge, suppression of facts, and the like. 
In their totality, these petty concessions, this vacillation, 
irresolution, evasiveness, subterfuge and suppression of 
facts inevitably constitute a betrayal of the dictatorship 
of the proletariat. 

Dictatorship is a big, harsh and bloody word, one which 
expresses a relentless life-and-death struggle between two 
classes, two worlds, two historical epochs. 

Such words must not be uttered frivolously. 

To place the establishment of the dictatorship of the 
proletariat on the order of the day, and at the same time 
to "fear to offend" men like Albert Thomas, the Brackes 
Sembats and the other champions of the vilest French so- 
cial-chauvinism, the heroes of the traitor newspapers 
I'Humanite, La Bataille 121 and the like, is to betray the 
working class — be it from lack of thought, lack of understand- 
ing, weakness of character, or some other cause, it is 
nevertheless betrayal of the working class. 

It was the divergence between word and deed that caused 
the collapse of the Second International. The Third Inter- 
national is not yet a year old, but it is already becoming 
fashionable and is a lure to those politicians who go wherever 
the masses go. The Third International is already in 



danger of its word and deed diverging. This danger must be 
exposed everywhere and at all costs, and every manifestation 
of this evil must be eradicated. 

The resolutions of the Longuetists (like the resolutions 
of the recent congress of the German Independents, who are 
German Longuetists) have transformed "dictatorship of the 
proletariat" into just such an icon as the resolutions of 
the Second International used to be for the leaders, the 
officials of the trade unions, the parliamentarians and the 
functionaries of the co-operative societies. An icon is 
something you pray to, something you cross yourself before, 
something you bow down to; but an icon has no effect on 
practical life and practical politics. 

No, gentlemen, we shall not allow the slogan "dictator- 
ship of the proletariat" to be turned into an icon; we shall 
not consent to the Third International tolerating any diver- 
gence between word and deed. 

If you stand for the dictatorship of the proletariat, then 
do not pursue that evasive, equivocal, compromising policy 
towards social-chauvinism which you are pursuing and 
which is expressed in the very first lines of your first reso- 
lution: the war, you see, "has rent" (a dechiree) the Second 
International, has severed it from the work of "socialist 
education" (education socialiste), while "certain sections 
of this International" (certaines de ses fractions) have "weak- 
ened themselves" by sharing power with the bourgeoisie, 
and so on and so forth. 

That is not the language of people who consciously 
and sincerely support the idea of the dictatorship of the 
proletariat. It is the language either of people who take 
one step forward and two steps back, or of politicians. If 
you want to talk this language — or rather, as long as you 
talk this language, as long as this is your policy — stay 
in the Second International, where you belong. Or let the 
workers, whose mass pressure is pushing you towards the 
Third International, leave you behind in the Second Inter- 
national and themselves come over, without you, to the. 
Third International. On the same terms we shall say "Wel- 
come" to these workers, whether of the French Socialist 
Party, the German Independent Social-Democratic Party, 
or the British Independent Labour Party. 



If you recognise the dictatorship of the proletariat, and at 
the same time talk about the war of 1914-18, then you 
must talk differently and say that this war was a war be- 
tween the brigands of Anglo-Franco-Russian imperialism 
and the brigands of Austro-German imperialism for the 
division of spoils, of colonies and "spheres" of financial 
influence. Preaching "defence of the fatherland" in such a war 
was treason to socialism. If this truth is not thoroughly ex- 
plained, if this treason is not eradicated from the minds, hearts 
and policy of the workers, it will be impossible to escape 
the miseries of capitalism, it will be impossible to escape 
new wars, which are inevitable as long as capitalism persists. 

You do not want to talk this language, you cannot talk 
this language or carry on this propaganda, do you? You want 
to "spare" yourselves or your friends who yesterday preached 
the "defence of the fatherland" in Germany under Wilhelm 
or Noske and in Britain and France under the rule of the 
bourgeoisie, don't you? Then spare the Third International! 
Gladden it with your absence! 


I have so far spoken of the first of the two resolutions. 
The second is no better: "solemn" ("801671716116") condemnation 
of "confusionism", and even of "all compromise" ("toute 
compromission' — this is an empty revolutionary phrase, 
because one cannot be opposed to all compromise), and, 
alongside of this, evasive, equivocal repetition of general 
phrases — phrases which do not explain the concept "dicta- 
torship of the proletariat" but obscure it — attacks upon the 
"policy of M. Clemenceau" (the usual trick of bourgeois pol- 
iticians in France, who represent a change of cliques to be 
a change of regime), and the exposition of a programme which 
is fundamentally reformist — taxes, "nationalisation of the 
capitalist monopolies", etc. 

The Longuetists do not understand and do not want to 
understand (partly, are incapable of understanding) that re- 
formism, masked by revolutionary phrase-mongering, was the 
chief evil of the Second International, the chief reason for 
its disgraceful collapse, for the support given by the 



"socialists" to the war in which ten million people were 
slaughtered in order to settle the great question whether 
the Anglo-Russo-French group or the German group of cap- 
italist depredators should plunder the world. 

The Longuetists have in fact remained the reformists 
they were, masking their reformism by revolutionary phrases 
and employing the new tag "dictatorship of the proletariat" 
merely as a revolutionary phrase. The proletariat does not 
need such leaders, nor does it need the leaders of the German 
Independent Social-Democratic Party, or the leaders of the 
British Independent Labour Party. The proletariat cannot 
bring about its dictatorship with such leaders. 

Recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat does 
not mean undertaking an assault, an uprising, at all costs 
and at any moment. That is nonsense. A successful insurrec- 
tion demands prolonged, skilful and persistent preparations, 
preparations entailing great sacrifice. 

Recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat means 
making a determined, relentless, and, what is most important, 
a fully conscious and consistent break with the oppor- 
tunism, reformism, equivocation and evasiveness of the 
Second International — a break with the leaders who cannot 
help carrying on the old tradition, with the old (not in age, 
but in methods) parliamentarians, trade union and co-oper- 
ative society officials, etc. 

A break with them is essential. To pity them would be 
criminal; it would mean betraying the fundamental inter- 
ests of tens of millions of workers and small peasants for the 
paltry interests of some ten thousand or hundred thou- 
sand people. 

Recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat requires 
the fundamental reconstruction of the day-to-day work of 
the Party, it means getting among the millions of workers, 
agricultural labourers and small peasants whom only 
Soviets, the overthrow of the bourgeoisie, can save from 
the miseries of capitalism and war. The dictatorship of the 
proletariat means explaining this concretely, simply, clearly, 
to the masses, to tens of millions of people; it means 
telling them that their Soviets must take over state power 
in its entirety, and that their vanguard, the party of the 
revolutionary proletariat, must lead the struggle. 



The Longuetists have not the faintest inkling of this 
truth, nor have they the least desire or ability to give daily 
effect to it. 


In Austria, communism has passed through an extremely 
difficult period, which it seems is not quite over yet — 
growing pains, the illusion that by proclaiming themselves 
Communists a group can become a force without waging a 
profound struggle for influence over the masses, and mis- 
takes in the cboice of people (mistakes that are inevitable at 
first in every revolution; we made a number of similar 

Die Rote Fahne, the daily organ of the Communists edited 
by Koritschoner and Tomann, shows that the movement is 
taking the right road. 

And to what depths of stupidity, vileness and sordidness 
the Austrian Social-Democrats are sinking is only too 
clearly shown by the whole policy of Renner and similar 
Austrian Scheidemanns, who are helped — partly out of utter 
stupidity and weakness of character — by the Otto Bauers and 
Friedrich Adlers, who have become rank traitors. 

Take, for example, Otto Bauer's pamphlet, The Path to 
Socialism.* I have before me a Berlin edition by Frei- 
heit — apparently the publishing house of the Independent 
Party, which is entirely on the same wretched, vulgar and 
despicable level as this pamphlet. 

A glance at a couple of passages from §9 ("Expropria- 
tion of the Expropriators") will be enough: 

"Expropriation cannot and must not take the form of the brutal 
[brutaler] confiscation of the property of the capitalists and landowners; 
for in this form it could be accomplished only at the cost of a tremen- 
dous destruction of the productive forces, which would ruin the masses 
of the people themselves and would choke the sources of national 
income. On the contrary, the expropriation of the expropriators must 
take place in a systematic and regular way" ... by means of taxation. 

And this learned man goes on to illustrate how "four- 
ninths" of the income of the wealthy classes could be 
extracted by means of taxation.... 

Der Weg zum Sozialismus. — Ed. 



Enough, is it not? As for myself, after these words (and 
I began reading the pamphlet from §9) I read nothing 
more; and I do not intend to read any more of Mr. Otto 
Bauer's pamphlet unless there is special need to. For it is 
clear that this, the best of the social-traitors, is at most a 
learned and utterly hopeless fool. 

He is a typical pedant, a thorough petty bourgeois at 
heart. Before the war he wrote useful and learned books and 
articles in which he "theoretically" admitted that the class 
struggle might attain the acuteness of a civil war. He even 
had a hand (if I am correctly informed) in drawing up the 
Basle Manifesto of 1912, which directly foretold a proletar- 
ian revolution in connection with that very war which 
actually broke out in 1914. 

But when this proletarian revolution became a reality, 
the soul of the pedant and philistine got the upper hand, 
and he grew frightened and began to pour the oil of refor- 
mist phrase-mongering on the troubled waters of the revolu- 

He had got it firmly fixed in his mind (pedants cannot 
think, they can only commit to memory, learn by rote) 
that the expropriation of the expropriators without confis- 
cation is theoretically possible. He was always repeating this. 
He had learned it by rote. He knew it by heart in 1912. 
He repeated it from memory in 1919. 

He cannot think. After an imperialist war, a war which 
has brought even the victors to the verge of ruin, after 
civil war has broken out in a number of countries, after 
facts have proved on a world-wide scale the inevitability of 
the conversion of imperialist war into civil war, to preach, 
in the year of our Lord 1919, in the city of Vienna, the 
"systematic" and "regular" extraction from the capitalists 
of "four-ninths" of their income — to do this one must be 
either an imbecile or that old hero of grand old German poetry 
who flitted rapturously "from book to book".... 

This dear old gentleman, no doubt a most virtuous pater- 
familias, a most honest citizen and most conscientious 
reader and writer of learned works, has forgotten one tiny 
detail; he has forgotten that such a "systematic" and "regular" 
transition to socialism (the transition which undoubtedly 
would be the most advantageous to "the people", abstractly 



speaking) presumes an absolutely secure victory of the pro- 
letariat, the absolute hopelessness of the position of the 
capitalists, the absolute necessity for them to display the 
most scrupulous obedience and their readiness to do so. 

Is such a conjunction of circumstances possible? 

Speaking theoretically, which in this case means speaking 
quite abstractly, it is possible, of course. For example, let 
us assume that in nine countries, including all the Great 
Powers, the Wilsons, Lloyd Georges, Millerands, and other 
champions of capitalism are already in the same position 
as Yudenich, Kolchak, Denikin, and their Ministers in our 
country. Let us assume that after this, in a tenth country, a 
small country, the capitalists propose to the workers: 
"Look here, we will conscientiously help you, in obedience 
to your decisions, to carry out a 'systematic' and peaceful 
(without destruction!) 'expropriation of the expropriators', 
for which you will let us have five-ninths of our former 
income in the first year and four-ninths in the second year." 

It is quite conceivable that under the circumstances I 
have mentioned the capitalists in the tenth country, one 
of the smallest and most "peaceful" countries, might make 
such a proposal, and there would be absolutely nothing wrong 
in the workers of this country discussing this proposal in 
a business-like way and (after bargaining a bit, for a mer- 
chant cannot help asking more than his wares are worth) 
accepting it. 

Now, after this popular explanation, perhaps the thing 
will be clear even to the learned Otto Bauer and to the 
philosopher Friedrich Adler (who is as successful a philos- 
opher as he is a politician). 

No, not clear yet? 

Just think, dear Otto Bauer and dear Friedrich Adler, 
does the position of world capitalism and of its leaders at 
the present moment resemble that of Yudenich, Kolchak and 
Denikin in Russia? 

No, it does not. In Russia the capitalists have been 
smashed, after having put up a most desperate resistance. 
In the rest of the world they are still in power. They are 
the masters. 

If, dear Otto Bauer and Friedrich Adler, it is not clear to 
you yet, let me add something in an even more popular form. 



Just imagine that at the time when Yudenich stood at 
the gates of Petrograd, when Kolchak held the Urals and 
Denikin the whole of the Ukraine, and when the pockets of 
these three heroes were stuffed with telegrams from Wilson, 
Lloyd George, Millerand and Co. informing them of the dis- 
patch of money, guns, officers and soldiers — just imagine 
that at this moment a representative of the Russian workers 
were to come to Yudenich, Kolchak or Denikin, and say: 
"We, the workers, are in the majority. We will let you have 
five-ninths of your income, and later will take away the 
rest as well, 'systematically' and peacefully. Let's shake 
hands on it! 'Without destruction!' Is it a go?" 

If this representative of the workers were simply clad, 
and if the Russian general, Denikin, for example, were alone 
when he received him, he would very likely commit the 
worker to a lunatic asylum, or just drive him away. 

But if the representative of the workers were an intel- 
lectual wearing a decent suit of clothes, and, in addition, 
were the son of a respectable papa (like our good friend 
Friedrich Adler), and if, moreover, Denikin were not alone, 
but received him in the presence of a French or British 
"adviser" — this adviser would undoubtedly say to Denikin: 

"Look here, general, this representative of the workers 
is a sensible fellow. He is just the man for one of our min- 
isterial jobs, like Henderson in Britain, Albert Thomas in 
France, and Otto Bauer and Friedrich Adler in Austria." 

February 14, 1920 

Published in 1920 

Published according to 
the manuscript 




Revolutionary Military Council of the South-Western Front, 

Priority. By direct line 

February 16, 1920 

Today I heard you and all the others very clearly, every 
word. Threaten to shoot the incompetent person in charge of 
communications who cannot give you a good amplifier and 
ensure uninterrupted telephone communication with me. 
I approve the reduced requisitioning and the obligatory 
distribution among the poor of a part of the requisitioned 
grain. You must first of all interest the poor. 


First published in 1938 

Published according to 
the manuscript 




Ukrainian Council of the Labour Army, Kharkov 
Copy to the Ukrainian Revolutionary Committee 

I am glad to learn that you have requisitioned a moderate 
amount — 158 [million poods] — and are leaving ten per cent 
for the poor, and that you have already detailed three 
regiments and four squadrons for the Ukrainian Council of 
the Labour Army. 

My advice: (1) protect the coal that is ready and send 
reinforcements quickly to the Caucasian Front. That is 
most important of all; (2) protect the salt and let regiments 
and squadrons occupy one volost after another in the vicin- 
ity of the Donets Basin and carry out requisitioning fully, 
awarding bread and salt to the poor; (3) immediately mobi- 
lise part of the Kharkov and Donets Basin workers for the 
Food Army to work together with the regiments and 
squadrons; (4) the work of the Ukrainian Council of the 
Labour Army to be measured by the daily amount of grain 
and coal delivered and the number of locomotives repaired. 


Written on February 18, 192 
First published in 1942 

Published according to 
the manuscript 



1. Do we intend to attack Poland and Rumania? 

No. We have declared most emphatically and officially, 
in the name of the Council of People's Commissars and the 
All-Russia Central Executive Committee, our peaceful 
intentions. It is very much to be regretted that the French 
capitalist government is instigating Poland (and presumably 
Rumania, too) to attack us. This is even mentioned by a 
number of American radios from Lyons. 

2. What are our plans in Asia? 

They are the same as in Europe: peaceful coexistence 
with all peoples; with the workers and peasants of all 
nations awakening to a new life — a life without exploiters, 
without landowners, without capitalists, without merchants. 
The imperialist war of 1914-18, the war of the capitalists 
of the Anglo-French (and Russian) group against the German- 
Austrian capitalist group for the partition of the world, 
has awakened Asia and has strengthened there, as everywhere 
else, the urge towards freedom, towards peaceful labour and 
against possible future wars. 

3. What would be the basis of peace with America? 

Let the American capitalists leave us alone. We shall 
not touch them. We are even ready to pay them in gold for 
any machinery, tools, etc., useful to our transport and 
industries We are ready to pay not only in gold, but in raw 
materials too. 



4. What are the obstacles to such a peace? 

None on our part; imperialism on the part of the Ameri- 
can (and of any other) capitalists. 

5. What are our views of the deportation of Russian revo- 
lutionaries from America? 

We have accepted them. We are not afraid of revolution- 
aries here in this country. As a matter of fact, we are not 
afraid of anybody, and if America is afraid of a few more 
hundred or thousand of its citizens, we are ready to begin 
negotiations with a view of receiving any citizens whom Amer- 
ica thinks dangerous (with the exception of criminals, of 

6. What possibilities are there of an economic alliance 
between Russia and Germany? 

Unfortunately, they are not great. The Scheidemanns are 
bad allies. We stand for an alliance with all countries 
without exception. 

7. What are our views upon the allied demand for the 
extradition of war criminals? 

If we are to speak seriously on this matter of war guilt, 
the guilty ones are the capitalists of all countries. Hand 
over to us all your landed proprietors owning more than a 
hundred hectares and capitalists having a capital of more 
than 100,000 francs, and we shall educate them to useful 
labour and make them break with the shameful, base and 
bloody role of exploiters and instigators of wars for the par- 
tition of colonies. Wars will then soon become absolutely 

8. What would be the influence of peace with Russia upon 
the economic conditions in Europe? 

Exchange of machinery for grain, flax and other raw 
materials — I ask, can this be disadvantageous for Europe? 
Clearly, it cannot be anything but beneficial. 

9. What is our opinion regarding the future development 
of the Soviets as a world force? 



The future belongs to the Soviet system all the world over. 
The facts have proved it. One has only to count by quarterly 
periods, say, the growth in the number of pamphlets, books, 
leaflets and newspapers standing for or sympathising with 
the Soviets published in any country. It cannot be other- 
wise. Once the workers in the cities, the workers, landless 
peasants and the handicraftsmen in the villages as well as 
the small peasants (i.e., those who do not exploit hired 
labour) — once this enormous majority of working people 
have understood that the Soviet system gives all power into 
their hands, releasing them from the yoke of landlords and 
capitalists — how could one prevent the victory of the Soviet 
system all over the world? I, for one, do not know of any 
means of preventing it. 

10. Has Russia still to fear counter-revolution from 

Unfortunately, it has, for the capitalists are stupid, 
greedy people. They have made a number of such stupid, 
greedy attempts at intervention and one has to fear repe- 
titions until the workers and peasants of all countries thor- 
oughly re-educate their own capitalists. 

11. Is Russia ready to enter into business relations with 

Of course she is ready to do so, and with all other coun- 
tries. Peace with Estonia, to whom we have conceded a 
great deal, has proved our readiness, for the sake of business 
relations, to give even industrial concessions on certain 

February 18, 1920 

V. Ulyanov (N. Lenin) 

Published on February 21, 1920 
in the New York Evening Journal 

No. 12671 

First published in Russian 
on April 22, 1950 
in Pravda No. 112 

Published according to 
the manuscript 



1. What is our attitude towards the raising of the 

We consider it a big step forward. The possibility is 
being opened for us to pass from a war that was forced on 
us by the capitalist governments of the Entente to peaceful 
reconstruction. This is of the greatest importance to us. 
Straining all our efforts towards the restoration of the 
economic life of the country, ruined first by the war be- 
tween capitalists over the Dardanelles and the colonies, then 
by the war of the capitalists of the Entente and Russia against 
the workers of Russia, we are now, among other measures, 
working out, with the aid of a number of scientists and ex- 
perts, a plan of electrification of the whole country. This 
plan is to be realised over a period of many years. The elect- 
rification will rejuvenate Russia. Electrification based on 
the Soviet system will mean the complete success of the foun- 
dations of communism in our country — foundations of a 
cultured life, without exploiters, without capitalists, with- 
out landlords, without merchants. 

The raising of the blockade will help to accomplish Rus- 
sia's electrification. 

2. What influence will the Allies' decision to cease of- 
fensive action have on the offensive actions of the Soviet 

The Allies, together with their allies and their lackeys — 
Kolchak, Denikin, and the capitalists of the surrounding 



countries — have attacked us. We did not attack anyone. We 
concluded peace with Estonia even at the cost of material 

We are impatiently waiting to see the Allies' "decision" 
supported by their deeds, but the story of the Versailles 
Peace and of its consequences, unfortunately, indicates that 
in most cases the Allies' words disagree with their deeds and 
the decisions remain scraps of paper. 

3. Is the present status quo satisfactory from the stand- 
point of Soviet policy? 

Yes, because every status quo in politics is a transition 
from old forms to new ones. The present status quo is, from 
many points of view, a transition from war to peace. Such a 
change is desirable to us for this reason, and insofar do we 
consider the status quo satisfactory. 

4. What are our aims in connection with the cessation of 
hostilities on the part of the Allies? 

Our aims, as already mentioned, are peaceful economic 
building. A detailed plan of it, on the basis of electrifica- 
tion, is being at present worked out by a committee of scien- 
tists and technicians — or rather, by a number of committees — 
in accordance with the resolution of the February (1920) 
session of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee. 

Written on February 18, 1920 

Published on February 23, 1920 
in the Daily Express No. 6198 

First published in Russian Published according to 

on April 22, 1950 the manuscript 

in Pravda No. 112 



To Comrade Stalin, 

Member of the Revolutionary Military Council of the South- 
western Front 

By direct line 

Moscow, February 20 

The situation on the Caucasian Front is assuming a more 
serious character. In the situation obtaining today we may 
possibly lose Rostov and Novocherkassk and the enemy may 
attempt to develop his successes further to the north and 
threaten the Donets area. Adopt exceptional measures to 
hasten the transfer of the 42nd and the Latvian divisions and 
strengthen their fighting potential. I expect that you will 
appreciate the general situation and bend all your efforts 
to achieve important results. 


First published 
on January 21, 1935 
in Pravda No. 21 

Published according to 
the telegram 



Comrades, the elections to the Moscow Soviet show that 
the Communist Party is gaining ground among the working 

Working women must take a bigger part in the elections. 
The Soviet government is the first and only government in 
the world to have completely abolished all the old, despic- 
able bourgeois laws which placed women in a position of 
inferiority to men, which placed men in a privileged position, 
for example, in respect of marital rights and of children. 
The Soviet government, the government of the working 
people, is the first and only government in the world to have 
abolished all the privileges of men in property questions, 
privileges which the marriage laws of all bourgeois republics, 
even the most democratic, still preserve. 

Wherever there are landowners, capitalists and merchants, 
women cannot be the equal of men even before the law. 

Where there are no landowners, capitalists or merchants, 
and where the government of the working people is build- 
ing a new life without these exploiters, men and women are 
equal before the law. 

But that is not enough. 

Equality before the law is not necessarily equality in 

We want the working woman to be the equal of the working 
man not only before the law but in actual fact. For this 
working women must take an increasing part in the adminis- 
tration of socialised enterprises and in the administration 
of the state. 

By taking part in administration, women will learn quick- 
ly and will catch up with the men. 



Elect more working women to the Soviet, both Communist 
women and non-party women. As long as they are honest 
working women capable of performing their work sensibly 
and conscientiously, even if they are not members of the 
Party — elect them to the Moscow Soviet! 

Send more working women to the Moscow Soviet! Let the 
Moscow proletariat show that it is prepared to do every- 
thing, and is doing everything, to fight for victory, to fight 
the old inequality, the old bourgeois humiliation of women! 

The proletariat cannot achieve complete liberty until 
it has won complete liberty for women. 

N. Lenin 

February 21, 1920 

Pravda No. 40, 
February 22, 1920 

Published according 
to the Pravda text 




February 22 

It is essential immediately to arrange for interpreters at 
all headquarters and army institutions, and make it the 
duty of all to accept applications and other papers written 
in Ukrainian. This is absolutely essential — as far as language 
is concerned there must be every concession and the maxi- 
mum of equality. I'll tell you soon about the wages of the 
railwaymen. I hear you quite well when you speak dis- 
tinctly so please answer my two telegrams by telephone. 


First published in 1942 

Published according to 
a typewritten copy 


FEBRUARY 25, 1920 

Permit me to greet your conference on behalf of the 
Council of People's Commissars and to share a few ideas 
with you. 

As far as the international situation is concerned, I can 
tell you of a wireless message received today from Britain 
which better than anything else typifies it. The message 
says that yesterday, the twenty-fourth, the Allied Council 
decided that in the event of the states bordering on Russia 
asking its advice on policy it would say that it could 
not advise a war that would probably injure their interests, 
still less could it advise an aggressive war against Russia; 
if, however, the Russian Soviet Republic attacked their 
legitimate frontiers, the Allied Council would give them 
its support. The Allied gentlemen also want to send to 
Russia a commission that belongs to the Washington labour 
committee. The organisers of the conference, social-traitors 
headed by Albert Thomas, have agreed on certain social 
reforms and want to send this crowd, which constitutes 
part of the League of Nations, 124 to Russia to investigate 
how far conditions in Russia coincide with the normal 
requirements of "civilised" states. 

The report of yesterday's decision by the Allies shows 
clearly enough that those gentlemen have got themselves 
into a mess, and also what benefit we can gain from that 



mess. They have wasted hundreds of millions (the British 
Government has) on support for the war and have now an- 
nounced that they can no longer support it. Their offensive 
spirit is played out, although they are still delivering war 
materiel to Poland; they are still delivering armaments and 
we have authentic information that Poland is regrouping her 
forces for an offensive so that we cannot place any great 
reliance on their announcement. A certain threat still re- 
mains, although the external danger from the Allies has 
diminished by ninety per cent; we shall have to retain our 
military preparedness after the end of the war against 
Denikin; we cannot count on full demobilisation. 

Nine-tenths of the danger of an attack on Russia by 
international capitalism has, therefore, disappeared: they 
have suffered such a thorough collapse that are proposing 
for the umpteenth time to send a commission to Russia. If 
that commission is to consist of gentlemen like Albert Thom- 
as, who visited Russia during the war, it will end in noth- 
ing but a scandal for them and will be an excellent basis 
for agitation for us. We'll give them such a welcome that 
they will leave Russia as quickly as possible and the only 
gain will be agitation for the workers of other countries. 
They want to scare us, but when we say we are welcoming 
them as honoured guests, they will hide this attempt of 
theirs. That shows the extent to which they are dismayed. 
We now have a window open on to Europe, thanks to the 
peace with Estonia, and are able to obtain the basic goods 
from there. There is, indeed, tremendous progress and im- 
provement in our international situation; nine-tenths of 
all external danger to the Soviet Republic has been 

The more the danger is removed the more shall we be 
able to get on with our peaceful development, and we expect 
a lot from you and from your activities in the sphere of 
adult education. A number of material changes are 
necessary to put education in schools on a better footing — 
schools must be built, teachers selected and internal reforms 
carried out in organising and in selecting the staff. These 
are all things that require lengthy preparation. You are not 
hampered by this lengthy preparation in adult edu- 
cation. The demand of the people for an education outside 



the regular school system and the need for workers in this 
field are increasing very greatly. We are sure that with the 
common aid and by our common efforts more will be done 
than has hitherto been the case. 

In conclusion I shall speak about the nature of adult 
education, which is connected with propaganda and 
agitation. One of the fundamental faults of education in 
the capitalist world was its alienation from the basic task 
of organising labour, since the capitalist had to train and 
educate obedient and disciplined workers. There was no 
connection in capitalist society between the actual tasks 
of the organisation of social labour and teaching. There was 
dead, scholastic, routine teaching befouled by the influence 
of the clergy which everywhere, even in the most democratic 
republics, functioned in such a way that everything fresh 
and healthy was compelled to withdraw. Direct, vital work 
was made difficult because no extensive education was pos- 
sible without a state apparatus and without material and 
financial aid. Since we can and must prepare to transfer our 
entire Soviet life from the path of military training and 
defence to that of peaceful development it is essential 
for you, workers in the field of adult education, to take this 
change into consideration, and your propaganda work, 
its aims and programme should be made to fit this 

To show you how I understand the tasks and the entire 
character of education, of teaching, training and upbring- 
ing, in their connection with the changing tasks of the So- 
viet Republic, I would remind you of the resolution on 
electrification that was adopted at the last session of the 
All-Russia Central Executive Committee, you are probably 
all familiar with it. A few days ago there was an announce- 
ment in the papers that within two months (in the official 
printed report it said two weeks, but that was a mistake) — 
that within two months a plan for the electrification of the 
country would be elaborated to cover a minimum period of 
two to three years and a maximum period of ten years. The 
character of all our propaganda, which includes purely Party 
propaganda, and school teaching, and adult educa- 
tion, must change, not in the sense that the fundamentals 
and general direction of teaching should be changed, but 



in the sense that the character of the work must be adapted 
to the transition to peaceful development with an exten- 
sive plan for the industrial and economic reconstruction of 
the country, because the general economic difficulty and 
the general task is the rehabilitation of the country's eco- 
nomic forces so that the proletarian revolution can create the 
new foundations of economic life side by side with petty 
peasant economy. Up to now the peasant has been compelled 
to loan grain to the workers' state; the pieces of coloured 
paper called money received in return for grain do not satis- 
fy the peasant. The peasant, being dissatisfied, is demand- 
ing his legitimate rights — in exchange for grain he wants 
the industrial goods that we cannot give him until we have 
rehabilitated the economy. Rehabilitation — that is the 
basic task, but we cannot rehabilitate on the old economic 
and technical basis. This is technically impossible and would 
be absurd; we have to find a new basis. This new basis is 
our electrification plan. 

We are talking to the peasants, to the mass of less-de- 
veloped people, showing them that the new transition to a 
higher stage of culture and technical education is necessary 
for the success of all Soviet development. And so, it is es- 
sential to restore the economy. The most ignorant peasant 
will understand that the economy has been wrecked by the 
war and that he cannot overcome poverty and obtain the 
necessary goods in exchange for grain unless we restore it. 
All our work in the sphere of propaganda, school and 
adult education must be linked up closely with this most 
immediate and urgent need of the peasant in order not to 
be isolated from the most urgent requirements of our daily 
life; it should present them and their development in a way 
the peasant understands; it must be stressed that the way 
out of the situation is only through the rehabilitation 
of industry. Industry, however, cannot be rehabilitated 
on the old basis, it must be rehabilitated on the basis 
of modern technology, which means the electrification 
of industry and a higher culture. Electrification takes up 
to ten years' work, but it is work at a higher cultural and 
political level. 

We shall evolve an extensive plan of work which must, 
in the minds of the peasantry, have a clearly defined practi- 



cal aim. This cannot be done in a few months. The minimum 
programme should cover no less than three years. With- 
out lapsing into Utopias we may say that in ten years 
we shall be able to cover all Russia with a network 
of power stations and go over to an industry based 
on electricity that will meet the requirements of modern 
technology and put an end to the old peasant farming. 
This, however, requires a higher level of education and 

Without hiding from ourselves the fact that the immediate 
practical task is the restoration of transport and the deliv- 
ery of food, and that with productivity at its present level 
we cannot undertake any extensive activites, you must nev- 
ertheless keep in mind and carry out, in the sphere of prop- 
aganda and education, the task of full rehabilitation on a 
basis commensurate with cultural and technical require- 
ments. The old methods of propaganda are outmoded and 
until recently approached the peasants with general phrases 
about the class struggle; they served as grounds for the in- 
vention of all sorts of nonsense about proletarian culture, 125 
etc., but we shall very rapidly cure ourselves of all this 
nonsense which seems very much like an infantile disorder. 
In propaganda and agitation, and in school and adult 
education, we shall present the question in a more sober 
and business-like manner, a manner worthy of the people 
of Soviet power who have learned something in the course of 
two years and who will go to the peasants with a practical, 
business-like and clear-cut plan for the reconstruction of 
all industry and will demonstrate that with education at 
its present level the peasant and the worker will not be 
able to carry out this task and will not escape from filth, 
poverty, typhus and disease. This practical task is clearly 
connected with cultural and educational improvements 
and must serve as the central point around which we must 
group all our Party propaganda and activities, all our 
school and extra-mural teaching. This will help to get a 
sound grasp of the most urgent interests of the peasant 
masses and will link up the general improvement in culture 
and knowledge with burning economic requirements to 
such an extent that we shall increase a hundredfold the 
demand of the working-class masses for education. We are 



absolutely certain that if we have solved the difficult war 
problem in two years, we shall solve a still more difficult 
problem — the cultural and educational problem — in five to 
ten years. 

These are the ideas I wished to express to you. (Applause.) 

Brief report published 
on March 2, 1920 
in Vecherniye Izvestia Moskovskogo 
Soveta Rabochikh i Krasnoarmeiskikh 
Deputatov No. 481 

First published in full in 1930 Published according to 

the verbatim report 



MARCH 1, 1920 

Comrades, allow me first of all to greet the Congress on 
behalf of the Council of People's Commissars. I very much 
regret that I was unable to attend your meeting on the open- 
ing day and did not hear Comrade Kalinin's report. But from 
what he has told me I conclude that many things relating to 
the direct and immediate tasks of Soviet development, and 
especially to the Cossacks, were dealt with in his speech. 
I should, therefore, like to deal mostly with the internation- 
al situation of the Soviet Republic and the tasks which con- 
front all the working masses, including the Cossacks, because 
of this situation. 

Never has the international position of the Soviet Re- 
public been as favourable and as triumphant as it is now. 
If some thought is given to the way our international 
situation has evolved in the course of two years of 
untold difficulties and incredible sacrifices, if some 
thought is given to the reasons for it, any intelligent 
person will discern the main forces, the mainsprings, 
and the chief alignment of forces in the incipient world 

When, over two years ago, at the very beginning of the 
Russian revolution, we spoke about this approaching inter- 
national, world revolution, it was a prevision, and to a cer- 
tain extent a prediction. And the vast majority of the work- 
ing people who did not live in the large cities and who had 
not had a schooling in the Party greeted this talk of an 



approaching world revolution with either mistrust or 
indifference, and at any rate with scanty understanding. And, 
indeed, it was impossible and would have been unnatural to 
expect the vast mass of the working population, especially 
the peasant, farming population, who are scattered over an 
immense territory, to form in advance anything like a cor- 
rect idea of why world revolution was approaching, and 
whether it really was international. Our experience during 
these two incredibly difficult years and the experience of 
the working masses of remote border regions are worthy of 
attention, and not of merely being brushed aside with the 
remark that times were hard but have now become easier. 
Yes, we must give thought to the reason why things happened 
as they did, to the significance of their happening as they 
did, and to the lessons that are to be drawn from this; we 
must see which party's views have been borne out by what 
our own history and world history have demonstrated dur- 
ing these two years. That is what I would like to deal with 
first of all. 

From the standpoint of the international situation the 
issue is quite clear, when the matter is taken on a broad 
scale and regarded not from the standpoint of one party 
or of one country, but from the standpoint of all countries 
together, when the matter is taken on a broad scale, then 
particular and trifling details recede into the background 
and the chief motive forces of world history become 

When we began the October Revolution by overthrowing 
the power of the landowners and capitalists, appealing for 
the termination of the war, and addressing this appeal to 
our enemies; when after this we came under the yoke of 
the German imperialists; when after this, in October and 
November 1918, Germany was crushed, and Britain, France, 
America and the other Entente countries became the lords 
of the earth — what was our situation then? The vast major- 
ity asked whether it was not then obvious that the cause of 
the Bolsheviks was hopeless. And many added, "Not only is 
it hopeless, but the Bolsheviks have turned out to be frauds. 
They promised peace, but instead, after the German yoke had 
been thrown off and Germany defeated, they were found to 
be enemies of the whole Entente — that is, of Britain, France, 



America and Japan, the most powerful countries in the 
world; and Russia, ruined, weakened and exhausted by the 
imperialist war, and moreover by the Civil War, has now 
to hold out in a fight against the foremost countries 
of the world." This was easy to believe; and it is not 
surprising that lack of faith made indifference and often 
actual hostility to the Soviet government more and more 
widespread. There is nothing surprising in it. What is sur- 
prising is that we emerged victorious from the struggle against 
Yudenich, Kolchak and Denikin who were supported in 
every possible way by all the wealthiest powers in the world, 
powers which no other military force on earth can even ap- 
proximately equal. The truth of this is clear to everybody, 
even to the blind, and even to those who are worse than 
blind, those who refuse to see at any price — even to 
them it is clear that we have emerged from this struggle 

How did this miracle happen? It is to this question that 
I would like most of all to direct your attention, because 
it most clearly reveals the chief motive forces of the entire 
international revolution. By analysing this question in a 
practical way, we can supply an answer to it, for this is 
something we have already been through; we are able to 
say what happened after the event. 

We were victorious because we could be and were united, 
and because we were able to win over allies from the camp 
of our enemies. And our enemies, who are immeasurably 
stronger than we are, suffered defeat because they were not, 
never could be and never will be united, and because every 
month they fought against us brought them further disinte- 
gration within their own camp. 

I shall now speak about the fact which proves these 

You know that after Germany was defeated, there was no- 
body in the world to oppose Britain, France and America. 
They had robbed Germany of her colonies, and there was no 
corner on earth, there was not a single country, where the 
military might of the Entente did not prevail. It would 
seem that under such circumstances, enemies of Soviet Rus- 
sia as they were, they must have clearly realised that Bol- 
shevism aims at world revolution. We have never made a 



secret of the fact that our revolution is only the beginning, 
that its victorious end will come only when we have lit up 
the whole world with these same fires of revolution. And we 
realised quite clearly that the capitalists were frenzied ene- 
mies of the Soviet government. It should be mentioned that 
when the European struggle was over they had an army of 
millions, and a powerful navy, to which we could not oppose 
even the semblance of a navy or an army of any strength. 
And all they had to do was to employ a few hundred thou- 
sand soldiers of this army of millions in the war against us 
in the same way as they were employed in the war against 
Germany, and the Entente would have crushed us. There 
cannot be the slightest doubt of this in the minds of those 
who have examined this question from the theoretical stand- 
point, and especially of those who went through the last 
war and know it from their own experience and obser- 

Both Britain and France tried to seize Russia in this way. 
They concluded a treaty with Japan, who had taken prac- 
tically no direct part in the imperialist war but who sup- 
plied a hundred thousand or so soldiers to crush the Soviet 
Republic, acting from the Far East. Britain at that time 
landed troops at Murmansk and Archangel, not to mention 
the movement in the Caucasus, while France landed soldiers 
and sailors in the South. This was the first historical phase 
of the struggle we sustained. 

The Entente at that time had an army of millions and its 
soldiers were, of course, far superior to the whiteguard troops 
which were mustering in Russia and which had neither 
organisers nor arms. And it sent these soldiers against 
us. But what the Bolsheviks had predicted happened. They 
said that it was not only the Russian revolution that was 
concerned, but the world revolution as well, and that the 
Bolsheviks had allies in the workers of all civilised coun- 
tries. These prophecies were not realised in their direct form 
at the time we proposed peace to all countries. 127 Our appeal 
did not meet with a general response. But the strike in Ger- 
many in January 1918 128 showed us that there we had the 
support of fairly large forces of workers and not only of 
Liebknecht, who even in the days of the Kaiser had the 
courage to declare publicly that the government and the 



bourgeoisie of Germany were robbers. This strike ended in 
bloodshed and the suppression of the workers. In the Entente 
countries, of course, the bourgeoisie deceived the workers, 
either lying about our appeal or not publishing it at all. 
For this reason the appeal we made in November 1917 to 
all the nations produced no direct result, and those who 
thought that this appeal alone would call forth revolution 
were bound, of course, to be bitterly disappointed. But we 
did not count only upon the appeal; we counted upon more 
profound motive forces. We said that the revolution would 
proceed differently in different countries, and that of course 
it was not merely a matter of removing a protege of Rasputin 
or a villainous landowner, but of a struggle against the more 
developed and enlightened bourgeoisie. 

And so, when the British landed troops in the North and 
the French in the South, the decisive test and the final 
denouement began. The question of who was right was now to 
receive its answer. Were the Bolsheviks right when they said 
that in order to win the fight they had to rely upon the work- 
ers? Or were the Mensheviks right when they said that an 
attempt to make a revolution in one country would be sense- 
less and foolhardy, because it would be crushed by other 
countries? You heard this kind of talk not only from Party 
people but even from people who were just beginning to 
think about politics. And then came the acid test. For a 
long time we did not know what the result would be; for a 
long time we could not judge the result; but now, after the 
event, we know what it was. Even in the English newspapers, 
in spite of the frenzied lies about the Bolsheviks told by all 
the bourgeois papers — even in those papers letters began to 
appear from British soldiers near Archangel, saying that on 
Russian soil they had come across leaflets in English explain- 
ing to them that they had been deceived, that they were 
being led against workers and peasants who had set up their 
own state. These soldiers wrote that they did not want to 
fight. As for France, we know that there was a mutiny in 
the navy for which tens, hundreds, and perhaps thousands 
of Frenchmen are still doing penal servitude. These sailors 
declared that they would not fight the Soviet Republic. We 
can now see why neither French troops nor British troops 
are fighting us at present, why the British soldiers have been 



removed from Archangel, and why the British Government 
dare not bring them on to our soil. 

One of our political writers, Comrade Radek, wrote that 
the Russian soil would prove to be such that no soldier from 
any other country who set foot on it would be able to 
fight. This seemed to be too boastful a promise, it seemed 
a delusion. But it proved correct. The soil on which the 
Soviet revolution had taken place proved to be very danger- 
ous to all countries. It seems that the Russian Bolsheviks 
were right; they had already managed to bring about unity 
among the workers during the time of the tsar, and the work- 
ers had managed to create small cells, which greeted all 
who believed them, whether French workers or British 
soldiers, with propaganda in their own languages. True, we 
had only tiny sheets, whereas in the British and French press 
propaganda was carried on by thousands of newspapers and 
every phrase was publicised in tens of thousands of columns. 
We issued only two or three quarto sheets a month; at best 
it worked out at only one copy for every ten thousand French 
soldiers. 129 I am not certain whether even that many reached 
their destination. Why, then, did the French and British 
soldiers believe them? Because we told the truth, and because 
when they came to Russia they saw that they had been 
deceived. They had been told that they were to defend their 
own country; but when they came to Russia they found that 
they were to defend the rule of the landowners and capitalists, 
that they were to crush the revolution. The reason we were 
able to win over these people in two years was that although 
they had forgotten that they had once executed their own 
kings, the moment they stepped on to Russian soil, the Rus- 
sian revolution and the victories of the Russian workers and 
peasants reminded the soldiers of France and Britain of 
their own revolutions, and, thanks to the events in Russia, 
they recalled what had once happened in their own 

And this showed that the Bolsheviks were right, that our 
hopes were better founded than those of the capitalists, al- 
though we had neither funds nor arms, while the Entente had 
both arms and an invincible army. But we won the sympathy 
of these invincible armies, so much so that they dare not 
bring either British soldiers or French soldiers against us, 



knowing from experience that every such attempt turns 
against them. That is one of the miracles that have occurred 
in Soviet Russia. 

Now, after four years of war, when ten million people 
have been killed and twenty million crippled, when the 
imperialists are asking themselves what the war was for — 
such questions lead to some very interesting revelations. 
Certain negotiations which took place in 1916 were recently 
made public in France — the Austrian monarch began peace 
negotiations with France as early as 1916, but France kept 
quiet about it, and Albert Thomas, who called himself a 
socialist and who was then a member of the Cabinet, came to 
Russia to promise Constantinople, the Dardanelles and Ga- 
licia to Nicholas II. All these facts have now become widely 
known, they have been published in a French newspaper. 
The French workers are now saying to Albert Thomas: 
"You said that you had joined the Cabinet in order to protect 
our French fatherland and the interests of the French work- 
ers; yet in 1916, when the Austrian monarch proposed peace, 
you, Albert Thomas, concealed the fact, and as a result mil- 
lions of people perished in order that the French capitalists 
might make more profit." These exposures are not ended yet. 
We began them by publishing the secret treaties, and the 
whole world saw why millions of people had perished, why 
millions of people had been sacrificed, they had been sac- 
rificed in order that Nicholas II might secure the Dardanelles 
and Galicia. All the imperialists knew this. So did the Men- 
sheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries; and if they did not, 
they were downright idiots not to have studied politics and 
diplomacy enough to have known what has now been made 
public in the French papers. These exposures are now becom- 
ing more profound, and there will be no end to them. Thanks 
to this, the workers and peasants in every country are begin- 
ning more and more keenly to sense the truth and to realise 
what the imperialist war was about. That is why they are 
beginning to believe us, to see that we spoke the truth, and 
to see that the imperialists were lying when they led them to 
defend the fatherland. 

That explains the miracle of our having won the sympa- 
thies of the soldiers of Britain and France, weak and helpless 
as we were from the military standpoint. It is no longer a 



prediction, but a fact. True, the victory cost us untold hard- 
ships and incredible sacrifices. During the past two years 
we have suffered untold torments of starvation which became 
particularly acute when we were cut off from the grain of 
the East and the South. Nevertheless, we gained a victory, 
and a victory that is not only for our country, but for all 
countries, for all mankind. Never before has there been a 
case in history when powerful military states have been un- 
able to fight a country so helpless in the military field 
as the Soviet Republic. Why did this miracle happen? 
Because when we, the Bolsheviks, led the Russian people into 
the revolution, we knew very well that this revolution would 
be a painful one, that it would cost millions of lives; but we 
knew that we would have the working masses of all coun- 
tries behind us, and that our truth, by exposing all lies, would 
triumph more and more as time went on. 

After the campaign of the powers against Russia had failed, 
they tried another weapon. The bourgeoisie of those coun- 
tries have hundreds of years of experience, and were able to 
replace their own unreliable weapons by others. At first 
they tried to use their own soldiers to crush and stifle 
Russia; now they are trying it with the help of the border 
states. > 

Tsarism, the landowners and the capitalists used to op- 
press a number of the border nations — Latvia, Finland, and 
so on, where they aroused hatred by centuries of oppression. 
"Great Russian" became a most hateful word to all these na- 
tions which had been drenched in blood. And so the Entente, 
having failed in fighting the Bolsheviks with the help of its 
own soldiers, is now banking on the small states, hoping to 
strangle Soviet Russia with their help. 

Churchill, who is pursuing the same sort of policy as 
Nicholas Romanov, wants to fight, and is fighting, without 
paying the slightest heed to parliament. He boasted that he 
would lead fourteen states against Russia — that was in 
1919 — and that Petrograd would be captured in September 
and Moscow in December. He was a little too boastful. He 
banked on the hatred of Russia in all these small states; 
but he forgot that in these small states there is a clear un- 
derstanding of what Yudenich, Kolchak and Denikin mean. 
They were once within a few weeks of complete victory. 



During Yudenich's campaign, when he was quite close to 
Petrograd, an article appeared in The Times, the richest of 
the British newspapers — I read this editorial myself — which 
implored, ordered, demanded that Finland help Yudenich — 
the eyes of the whole world are upon you; you will save 
liberty, civilisation and culture all over the world. Take the 
field against the Bolsheviks! This is what Britain said to 
Finland, and Britain has Finland completely in her pocket; 
it was said to Finland, who is up to her ears in debt, and 
who dares not utter a squeak because without Britain she has 
not enough grain to last her a week. 

Such was the pressure brought to bear on all these small 
states to make them fight Bolshevism. And it failed twice. 
It failed because the peace policy of the Bolsheviks turned 
out to be a serious one, and was judged by its enemies to 
be more honest than the peace policy of any other country, 
and because a number of countries thought, "Much as we hate 
Great Russia, which used to suppress us, we know that it 
was Yudenich, Kolchak and Denikin who suppressed us, and 
not the Bolsheviks." The former head of the Finnish whhe- 
guard government has not forgotten that in November 1917 
he personally received a document from my hands in which 
we said without the slightest hesitation that we unreser- 
vedly recognised Finland's independence. 130 

At that time this seemed a mere gesture. It was thought 
that the revolt of the Finnish workers would cause it to be 
forgotten. But no, such things are not forgotten when they 
are corroborated by the whole policy of a definite party. And 
even the Finnish bourgeois government said, "Let's think it 
over. After all, we have learned something during a hundred 
and fifty years of oppression by the Russian tsars. If we 
take the field against the Bolsheviks, we shall help to 
install Yudenich, Kolchak and Denikin. And who are 
they? Don't we know? Are they not the same breed of 
tsarist generals who stifled Finland, Latvia, Poland 
and many other nationalities? And shall we help these 
enemies of ours to fight the Bolsheviks? No, let us 

They did not dare to refuse outright — they are dependent 
on the Entente. They did not help us directly; they waited, 
temporised, wrote Notes, sent delegations, formed commis- 



sions, sat in conference, and did so until Yudenich, Kolchak 
and Denikin had been crushed and the Entente defeated in 
the second campaign too. We were the victors. 

If all these small states had taken the field against us — 
they were supplied with hundreds of millions of dollars 
and the finest guns and weapons, and had British instructors 
who had been through the war — if they had taken the field 
against us, there is not the slightest doubt that we would 
have been defeated. Everybody knows that very well. But 
they did not take the field against us, because they realised 
that the Bolsheviks are more honest. When the Bolsheviks 
say that they recognise the independence of any nation, that 
tsarist Russia was based on the oppression of other nations, 
and that the Bolsheviks never supported this policy, do not 
support it and never will support it, and that they will 
never go to war to oppress other nations — when they say that, 
they are believed. We know this not from the Latvian or 
Polish Bolsheviks, but from the bourgeoisie of Poland, Lat- 
via, the Ukraine and so on. 

Here the international significance of the Bolshevik 
policy had its effect. It was a test on international and 
not on Russian soil. It was a test by fire and sword, and 
not by words. It was a test in the last decisive struggle. 
The imperialists realised that they had no soldiers of their 
own, that they could strangle Bolshevism only by mustering 
international forces; but all international forces were 

What does imperialism mean? It means that a handful 
of rich powers have a stranglehold on the whole world, 
when they know that they have the fifteen hundred million 
people of the world in their hands and have a stranglehold 
on them, and when these fifteen hundred million feel what 
British culture, French culture and American civilisation 
mean — rob for all you are worth! Today three-quar- 
ters of Finland has already been bought up by American 
multimillionaires. The officers who came from Britain 
and France to our border states to instruct their troops 
behaved like insolent scions of the Russian nobility in a 
defeated country. They all profiteered right and left. And the 
more the Finnish, Polish and Latvian workers starve, the 
more they are squeezed by a handful of British, American and 



French multimillionaires and their henchmen. And this is 
going on all over the world. 

The Russian Socialist Republic alone has raised the 
standard of war for real emancipation; and sympathy is 
turning in its favour all over the world. Through the small 
countries, we have won the sympathy of all the nations of 
the world, and they represent hundreds of millions of people. 
They are at present oppressed and downtrodden, they are the 
most backward part of the population; but the war has en- 
lightened them. Huge masses of people were drawn into the 
imperialist war. Britain brought regiments from India to 
fight the Germans. France called millions of Africans to 
the colours to fight the Germans. They were formed into 
shock units and hurled into the most dangerous sectors, 
where they were mown down like grass by machine-guns. 
But they learned something. Under the tsar the Russian 
soldiers said, "If die we must, then let it be fighting the land- 
owners" — now the Africans say, "If die we must, then let it 
not be to help the French predators rob the German capital- 
ist predators, but to emancipate ourselves from the capital- 
ists, German and French." In every country of the world, even 
in India, where three hundred million people are oppressed 
and treated as labourers by the British, minds are awaken- 
ing and the revolutionary movement is growing from day to 
day. They all look towards one star, the star of the Soviet 
Republic, because they know that it made tremendous 
sacrifices in order to fight the imperialists, and that it has 
withstood the most severe trials. 

This was the significance of the second card of the En- 
tente to be beaten — victory on an international scale. It 
means that our peace policy is approved by the vast majority 
of people all over the world. It means that the number of 
our allies in all countries is growing — much more slowly 
than we would like, it is true, but growing nevertheless. 

The victory we won in the offensive engineered against 
us by Churchill shows that ~ur policy was right. And after 
that we won a third victory — a victory over the bourgeois 
intelligentsia, over the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the 
Mensheviks, who in all countries were rabidly hostile to 
us. They all began to oppose the war against Soviet Russia. 
In all countries the bourgeois intelligentsia, the Socialist- 



Revolutionaries and Mensheviks — this breed, unfortunately, 
is to be found in all countries {applause) — condemned inter- 
ference in Russian affairs. They declared in all countries 
that it was a disgrace. 

When Britain proposed that the Germans blockade So- 
viet Russia, and Germany refused, this exhaused the patience 
of the British and other Socialist-Revolutionaries and 
Mensheviks. They said, "We are enemies of the Bolsheviks 
and regard them as violators and robbers. But we cannot 
support the proposal that the Germans join us in strangling 
Russia by a hunger blockade." And so, within the camp of 
the enemies, inside their own countries, in Paris, London 
and so on, where Bolsheviks are being hounded and treated 
in the way revolutionaries were treated under the tsar — in 
all cities, the bourgeois intelligentsia have issued the call 
"Hands off Soviet Russia!" In Great Britain this is the slo- 
gan under which the bourgeois intelligentsia are summoning 
meetings and issuing manifestos. 

That is why the blockade had to be lifted. They could 
not restrain Estonia, and we have concluded peace and can 
trade with her. We have cut a window open on the civilised 
world. We have the sympathy of the majority of the work- 
ing people, and the bourgeoisie are anxious to start trade 
with Russia as soon as possible. 

Now the imperialists are afraid of us, and they have 
reason to be, for Soviet Russia has emerged from this war 
stronger than ever. British writers have written that the 
armies all over the world are disintegrating, and that if 
there is any country in the world whose army is gaining 
strength, that country is Soviet Russia. They tried to 
slander Comrade Trotsky and said that this was so because 
the Russian army is being kept under iron discipline, which 
is enforced by ruthless measures, as well as by skilful and 
widespread agitation. 

We have never denied this. War is war, and it demands 
iron discipline. Have you capitalist gentlemen not employed 
the same methods? Have you not carried on agitation? Have 
you not a hundred times more paper and printing works? To 
compare our literature with yours is like comparing a mole- 
hill to a mountain. Yet your propaganda has failed, and 
ours has succeeded. 



The Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks tried an 
experiment to see whether it was not possible to get along 
with the capitalists peacefully, and to pass from them to 
social reform. In Russia they wanted to go over to social 
reform in an amicable way, so as not to offend the capital- 
ists. They forgot that capitalists are capitalists, and that 
the only thing to do with them is to vanquish them. They 
say that in the Civil War the Bolsheviks have drenched the 
country in blood. But, my dear Socialist-Revolutionaries 
and Mensheviks, did you not have eight months to experi- 
ment in? Were you not in power with Kerensky from 
February to October 1917, during which period you had the 
help of all the Cadets, of the whole Entente, of all the rich- 
est countries in the world? Your programme then was one 
of social reform, without civil war. Is there a fool in the 
world who would have resorted to revolution if you had real- 
ly begun social reform? Why did you not do so? Because your 
programme was a blank, an absurd dream. Because it is 
impossible to come to terms with the capitalists and secure 
their obedience peacefully, especially after four years of 
imperialist war. Do you think there are no clever people in 
Britain, France and Germany who understand that they 
went to war for the division of colonies, and that ten mil- 
lion people were killed and twenty million crippled over 
the division of the spoils? That is what capitalism means. 
How can you expect to persuade, how can you expect to come 
to terms with this capitalism which has crippled twenty 
million people and killed ten million? And we say to the 
Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, "You had the 
opportunity of trying your experiment. Why did nothing 
come of it? Because your programme was a sheer Uto- 
pia, a utopia not only for Russia, but even for Germany, 
the Germany where the German Mensheviks and Socialist- 
Revolutionaries, whom nobody will listen to, are now in 
power, the Germany where a German Kornilov, armed 
from head to foot, is preparing reaction, 131 the German 
republic where fifteen thousand workers have been slaugh- 
tered in the streets of the cities. And this is called a democ- 
ratic republic!" Yet the German Mensheviks and Socialist- 
Revolutionaries have the hardihood to say that the Bol- 
sheviks are a wicked lot, that they have reduced the country 



to a state of civil war, whereas in their own country social 
peace prevails and only fifteen thousand workers have been 
killed in the streets! 

They say that the Civil War and bloodshed in Russia are 
due to the fact that it is a backward country. But tell us, 
why is the same thing happening in countries like Finland 
which are not backward? Why is there a White Terror in Hun- 
gary which has shocked the whole world? Why were Luxem- 
burg and Liebknecht assassinated in the German republic, 
where since the overthrow of the Kaiser, the Mensheviks and 
Socialist-Revolutionaries have been in power? And why is 
it not the Mensheviks who are strong there, but Kornilov — 
and the Bolsheviks too, who, although they are crushed, are 
strong because of their faith in the justice of their cause and 
because of their influence over the masses? 

There you have the world revolution — which they said the 
Bolsheviks were using to deceive the people with, when as 
a matter of fact all hopes of compromise proved to be sheer 

A big tussle is developing among the bourgeois coun- 
tries themselves. America and Japan are on the verge of 
flinging themselves at each other's throats because Japan sat 
snug during the imperialist war and has grabbed nearly the 
whole of China, which has a population of four hundred mil- 
lion. The imperialist gentlemen say. "We are in favour of a 
republic, we are in favour of democracy; but why did the 
Japanese grab more than they should under our very noses?" 
Japan and America are on the verge of war, and there is 
absolutely no possibility of preventing that war, in which 
another ten million will be killed and twenty million crip- 
pled. France, too, says, "Who got the colonies? — Britain." 
France was victorious, but she is up to her ears in debt; 
she is in a hopeless position, whereas Britain has piled up 
wealth. Over there, new combinations and alliances are 
already being engineered. They want to fling themselves at 
each other's throats again over the division of colonies. And 
an imperialist war is again brewing and cannot be preven- 
ted. It cannot be prevented, not because the capitalists, 
taken individually, are vicious — individually they are just 
like other people — but because they cannot free themselves 
of the financial meshes in any other way, because the whole 



world is in debt, in bondage, and because private property 
has led and always will lead to war. 

All this is causing the roots of the international revolu- 
tion to strike deeper and deeper. Because of this we have 
won over the French and British soldiers; because of this 
we have won the confidence of the small states, and our 
international position is now better than ever before. And 
on the basis of a simple calculation we can say that though 
many hardships still await us, the worst difficulties have 
already been overcome. The all-powerful Entente no longer 
holds out any terrors for us: we have defeated it in decisive 
battles. (Applause.) 

True, they may still incite Poland against us. The Polish 
landowners and capitalists are growling and threatening, 
saying that they want to get back the territory of 1772, 132 
that they want to subjugate the Ukraine. We know that 
France is inciting Poland, flinging millions into that coun- 
try, because France is bankrupt anyhow and is now putting 
her last stake on Poland. And we say to the comrades in Po- 
land that we respect her liberty as we respect the liberty of 
every other nation, and that the Russian workers and peas- 
ants, who have experienced the yoke of tsarism, know very 
well what that yoke meant. We know that it was a heinous 
crime to divide Poland up among the German, Austrian and 
Russian capitalists, and that this division doomed the 
Polish nation to long years of oppression, when the use of the 
native language was regarded as a crime, and when the whole 
Polish nation was brought up in one idea, namely, to throw 
off this treble yoke. We therefore understand the hatred the 
Poles feel, and we declare to them that we shall never cross 
the line on which our troops are now stationed — and they 
are stationed a long way from any Polish population. We 
are proposing peace on this basis, because we know that 
this will be a tremendous acquisition for Poland. We do not 
want war on account of frontiers, because we want to oblite- 
rate that accursed past when every Great Russian was 
regarded as an oppressor. 

But since Poland responds to our peace proposal by 
silence, since she continues to give a free hand to French 
imperialism, which is inciting her to a war against Russia 
since fresh trainloads of munitions are arriving in Poland 



every day and the Polish imperialists threaten to start a 
war on Russia, we say, "Just try it! You'll get a lesson you'll 
never forget." (Applause.) 

When soldiers died during the imperialist war for the 
enrichment of the tsar and the landowners, we said frankly 
and openly that defence of the fatherland in the imperialist 
war was treachery, that it meant defence of the Russian tsar, 
who was to get the Dardanelles, Constantinople, and so on. 
But now that we have published the secret treaties, now that 
we have embarked on a revolution against imperialist war, 
now that we have borne untold hardships for the sake of that 
revolution, now that we have shown that the capitalists in 
Russia have been suppressed and dare not even dream of 
returning to the old system, we say that we are not defend- 
ing the right to plunder other nations, but are defending our 
proletarian revolution, and will defend it to the very end. 
The Russia which has been emancipated and which for two 
years has borne untold suffering for the sake of her Soviet 
revolution — that Russia we shall defend to our last drop of 
blood! (Applause.) 

We know that the time is gone when we were pressed on 
all sides by imperialist armies and when the working folk 
of Russia still did not understand the tasks that confronted 
us. Guerrilla methods prevailed then, each tried to grab a 
weapon for himself without consideration for the cause 
as a whole, and disorder and robbery prevailed in the locali- 
ties. In the course of these two years we have created a 
united and disciplined army. It has been a very difficult 
task. You know that the science of war cannot be learned all 
at once and you also know that only the officers, the colonels 
and generals, who have remained from the tsarist army, 
know that science. You have heard, of course, that these old 
colonels and generals have been responsible for a great deal 
of treachery, which cost us tens of thousands of lives. All 
such traitors had to be cleared out, and at the same time 
we had to select a corps of commanders from among the for- 
mer officers, so that the workers and peasants might learn 
from them- for a modern army cannot be built up without 
science, and we have had to put it in the hands of military 
experts. It has been a difficult task, but that, too, we have 



We have created a united army, an army which is now 
directed by the advanced section, by experienced Communists, 
who have everywhere succeeded in putting agitation and pro- 
paganda on a proper footing. True, the imperialists are also 
carrying on propaganda, but the peasants are already begin- 
ning to understand that there are different kinds of propa- 
ganda. They are beginning to tell by instinct what is true 
and what is false. At any rate, the propaganda which is 
being carried on by the Mensheviks and which was carried on 
by Kolchak and Denikin is no longer as successful as it was. 
Take their posters and pamphlets. They talk about a Con- 
stituent Assembly, they talk about liberty and a republic. 
But the workers and peasants, who have secured liberty at 
the price of their blood, now understand that the term "Con- 
stituent Assembly" serves as a screen for the capitalists; 
and if anything decided the issue of the struggle against 
Kolchak and Denikin in our favour, despite the fact that 
they were supported by the Great Powers, it was that both 
the peasants and working Cossacks, who for a long time 
remained in the other camp, have in the end come over 
to the workers and peasants — and it was only this that final- 
ly decided the war and brought about our victory. 

With this victory behind us, we must now do our utmost 
to consolidate it on another front, the bloodless front, the 
front of the war against the economic chaos to which we have 
been reduced by the war against the landowners and capi- 
talists, against Kolchak and Denikin. You know what this 
victory has cost us; you know what a desperate fight we had 
to put up when we were cut off from the grain-growing 
regions, from the Urals and Siberia. At that time the Moscow 
and Petrograd workers had to suffer intolerable torments of 
hunger. Attempts were made to frighten you with the term 
"dictatorship of the proletariat", to frighten the peasants 
and working Cossacks, and instil into their minds the idea 
that dictatorship meant the arrogant rule of the worker. 
Actually, however, while Britain and America were doing all 
they could to support Kolchak and Denikin, the workers of 
the central cities, exercising their dictatorship, did their 
best to show everyone by their example how to break away 
from the landowners and capitalists and march with the 
working people; for labour unites, while property disunites. 



That was the thesis we stuck to throughout these two years, 
and it led us to victory. We were united by labour, whereas 
the Entente is steadily disintegrating, because property has 
turned the imperialists into wild beasts, who from first 
to last are always squabbling over the division of spoils. 
Labour has made us a force that is uniting all the working 
people. And now "dictatorship" is a word that can frighten only 
utterly ignorant people, if such are still to be found in Russia. 

I do not know if any person still remains who has not 
been taught a lesson by Kolchak and Denikin, and who has 
not come to realise what the dictatorship of the proletariat 
means — it means that never has the proletariat of Petro- 
grad, Moscow and the industrial centres suffered such hard- 
ships as during these past two years. The peasants of the 
producing gubernias are now in such a position that they, 
having possession of the land, get the whole product for 
themselves. Since the Bolshevik revolution the Russian 
peasants, for the first time in thousands of years, are working 
for themselves and can feed better. Yet at the same time, 
during these two years of struggle the workers, the proletari- 
at, while exercising their dictatorship, have been suffer- 
ing untold torments of hunger. You now see that dictator- 
ship means leadership, the union of the disunited and 
scattered working masses, a single, closely-knit whole directed 
against the capitalists in order to defeat them and to prevent 
a recurrence of the bloodshed in which ten million people 
perished and twenty million were crippled. The union of all 
the labouring people, a single iron will is required to defeat 
a force like this, which can rely on mighty armies and modern 
culture. This single iron will can be furnished only by the 
working masses, only by the workers, the proletariat, only 
by those class-conscious workers whom decades of strikes 
and demonstrations have trained in struggle, and who have 
succeeded in overthrowing tsarism. It can be furnished only 
by the workers who have borne the brunt of the two years of 
unparalleled civil war, fighting in the front ranks and creat- 
ing a united Red Army, which has been joined by tens of 
thousands of the finest workers, peasants and military and 
political students, who have been the first to perish and who, 
in Moscow, Petrograd, Ivanovo-Voznesensk, Tver, Yaroslavl 
and all the industrial cities, have been suffering the terrible 



torments of hunger. And this hunger has welded the workers 
together and brought the peasants and working Cossacks of 
the producing gubernias to see for themselves that the Bol- 
sheviks were right, for the workers were thus enabled to hold 
their own in the struggle against the whiteguards. 

That is why the working class is entitled to say that 
by these two years of sacrifice and war it has proved to all 
the working peasants and to every working Cossack that we 
must unite and join forces. We must fight those who are 
profiteering on the famine because they find it more profit- 
able to sell grain at a thousand rubles a pood than to sell 
it at the fixed price. There is money to be made that way, 
but it leads back to the old times, -and we shall once more 
find ourselves in that accursed pit where tsarism ruled and 
where the capitalists condemned humanity to the impe- 
rialist slaughter for the sake of their profits. It would turn 
us back, and that is something that cannot be allowed. After 
the struggle against Kolchak and Denikin, the working peas- 
ants and Cossacks came to realise the truth that we need 
unity, and they are taking their places by the side of the 
workers and looking upon the working class as their leaders. 
The working peasants saw that no injury derived from the 
workers' government for there was none to see; it was only 
the landowners, capitalists and kulaks who did, but then, 
they are the worst enemies of the working people, they are 
the allies of those imperialists who were the cause of the 
bloody war and all the miseries of the people. All working 
people must unite — only then shall we be victorious. 

The bloody war is over and we are now waging a bloodless 
war, a war against the economic chaos, ruin, poverty and 
disease to which we have been reduced by four years of impe- 
rialist war and two years of civil war. You know that the 
economic chaos is terrible. In the border regions of Russia, 
in Siberia and in the South there are today tens of millions 
of poods of grain; millions of poods have already been col- 
lected and transported, yet there is a terrible famine in 
Moscow, people are dying of starvation because grain cannot 
be delivered, and it cannot be delivered because the Civil 
War has completely devastated the country, wrecked the 
railways and destroyed scores of bridges. Locomotives have 
broken down, and we are unable to repair them quickly. We 



are now trying with great difficulty to secure aid from abroad. 
We know, however, that it is now possible to start on the 
complete restoration of industry. 

How are we going to restore industry when we cannot 
exchange manufactured goods for grain because there aren't 

We know that when the Soviet government takes grain from 
the peasants at a fixed price it pays them only in paper. 
What is this paper worth? Although it is not the price of 
the grain we can only pay in paper money. But we say that 
this is essential, that the peasants must give their grain 
as a loan. Is there a single well-fed peasant who would 
refuse bread to a hungry worker if he knew that this worker, 
once he had been fed, would repay him in goods? No honest 
and politically-conscious peasant would refuse to give grain 
as a loan. Peasants who have surplus grain must let the 
state have it for paper money — and that means a loan. The 
only people who do not understand, who do not realise this, 
are the supporters of capitalism and exploitation, those who 
want the well-fed man to profit even more at the expense of 
the hungry man. The workers' government cannot tolerate 
that, and we shall stop at no sacrifice to combat it. (Ap- 

We have now concentrated all our forces on the restora- 
tion of industry and are steadfastly waging this new war, 
in which we shall be as victorious as we have been hitherto. 
We have instructed a commission of scientists and engineers 
to draw up a plan for the electrification of Russia. The plan 
will be ready in two months and will enable us to get 
a full and clear picture of how, in a few years, the whole of 
Russia will be covered by a network of electric transmis- 
sion lines, will be restored in a new way, not the old way, 
and how she will achieve that culture which our prisoners of 
war saw in Germany. 

That is the way we must restore our industry, and that 
is the way we shall return a hundredfold the loan of grain 
we are taking from the peasants. We know that this cannot 
be done in a year or two; the minimum programme of electri- 
fication is calculated for a period of not less than three 
years, and the complete success of this advanced industry 
will require not less than ten years. But if we were able to 



hold on for two years in such a bloody war, we shall be able 
to hold on for ten years and more in face of any difficulties. 
We have gained that experience in leading the masses with 
the help of urban workers which will carry us through all 
difficulties on this bloodless front of struggle against 
economic chaos and will lead to greater victories than those 
we gained in the war against international imperialism. 

Pravda Nos. 47, 48 and 49, 
Pravda text, verified with 

Published according to the 
the booklet, V. I. Lenin, 
Speech Delivered at the 
First All-Russia Congress 
of Working Cossacks, Moscow, 



MARCH 1, 1920 


{Comrade Lenin, who was greeted by prolonged applause and 
by the singing of the Internationale, delivered a brief speech 
of greeting.) Comrades, allow me to greet your Congress on 
behalf of the Council of People's Commissars. There is no 
need to speak here at length about the purposes of the Con- 
gress and the work you have done. With the exception of 
the war front, there is perhaps no field of work that has 
involved so many sacrifices as yours. Four years of imperial- 
ist war have given mankind several million cripples and a 
number of epidemics. 

A tremendous, difficult and responsible task has fallen on 
our shoulders. The struggle on the war front has shown 
that the attempts of the imperialists have produced no 
results The greatest difficulties in the military field are 
behind us, but we must now set about the task of peaceful de- 
velopment. The experience we gained on the bloody front we 
shall apply to the bloodless front, where we shall meet with 
far greater sympathy. 

We have succeeded in enlisting the services of thousands 
of experts, of a vast number of officers and generals, who 
are occupying responsible posts side by side with Communist 
workers. We must apply all the determination and all the 
experience of the Civil War to the fight against epidemics. 



Time was when members of the medical profession, too, 
entertained a distrust of the working class; time was when 
they, too, dreamed of the restoration of the bourgeois sys- 
tem. But now they, too, are convinced that only together 
with the proletariat will it be possible to achieve a flourish- 
ing state of culture in Russia. Only collaboration between 
scientists and workers can put an end to oppressive poverty, 
disease and dirt. And this will be done. 

No forces of darkness can withstand an alliance of the 
scientists, the proletariat and the technologists. 

Brief report published 
in Izvestia No. 51, 
March 6, 1920 

Published according to the 
booklet Second All-Russia 

Congress of Representatives of 
the All-Russia Union of 

Medical Workers. Minutes and 
Resolutions, Moscow, 1920 



Dear Comrades, 

The Party Congress has been appointed for March 27. 
The agenda of the Congress has been published, and no doubt 
all Party organisations have already begun to prepare for 
the Congress. The Central Committee of the Party deems it 
its duty to express certain views in connection with this 

Our Party, which by its persistent struggle over a period 
of fifteen years (1903-17) had proved its bonds with the 
working class of Russia, its ability to combat bourgeois 
influences within the working class and to lead the revolu- 
tionary struggle of the proletariat in the most diverse and 
most difficult circumstances, naturally had to take upon it- 
self the direct implementation of the tasks of the dictator- 
ship of the proletariat after the October Revolution. The 
Congress of our Party is therefore of the utmost importance 
not only for the entire working-class movement, but also for 
the entire development of Soviet power and for the guidance 
of the Russian — and to a certain extent the international — 
communist movement. 

The importance of our Party Congress in this respect is 
still further enhanced by the specific features of the present 
moment, when the Soviet government has to accomplish 
a most difficult transition from the military tasks that for- 
merly absorbed its entire attention to the tasks of peaceful 
economic development. 

The membership of our Party has greatly increased, 
chiefly owing to the immense influx of workers and peasants 
during the Party Weeks that were organised at the most 



difficult period of our revolution, when Yudenich and De- 
nikin were closest to Petrograd and Moscow. The workers and 
peasants who joined the Party at such a critical moment 
constitute a fine and reliable body of leaders of the revolu- 
tionary proletariat and of the non-exploiting section of the 
peasantry. We are confronted with the task of helping, as 
rapidly, successfully and efficiently as possible, to complete 
the training of these new members of the Party, of helping to 
mould them into a body of builders of communism, people 
who are the most politically conscious and capable of fill- 
ing the most responsible posts, and at the same time most 
closely connected with the masses, i.e., with the majority 
of the workers and of the peasants who do not exploit the 
labour of others. 

Relevant to the specific nature of the present moment, 
the chief item on the agenda of the forthcoming Congress will 
be the question of economic development and, in particular, 
of the measures, ways and means, and results of having 
a greater proportion of workers in our chief administrations, 
central boards and Soviet government apparatus in 

This must be the principal question at the Party Con- 
gress, for the principal question in the entire Soviet develop- 
ment in Russia (and — inasmuch as she has become the cen- 
tre of the world revolution — to a large extent in international 
communism as well) is the transition from the fight on the 
bloody front to the fight on the bloodless front, the front 
of labour, the front of the war against economic chaos, the 
war for the restoration, improvement, reorganisation and 
development of Russia's entire economy. 

The procurement and transportation of large state sup- 
plies of foodstuffs, the restoration of the ruined transport 
system, the implementation of these measures with military 
speed, energy and discipline; side by side with this and in- 
divisibly from it, the greater proportion of workers employed 
in the Soviet government apparatus, the elimination of 
sabotage and red tape from this apparatus, the achievement 
of the maximum productivity of labour, the utmost exertion 
of all the forces of the country for the restoration of the econ- 
omy — such is the task imperatively dictated by circum- 
stances, an urgent task demanding methods involving the 



supreme revolutionary energy of millions and millions of 
workers and peasants. 

The Party Congress must take into account the experience 
of the labour armies, that young and new institution; it 
must take into account the experience gained by the entire 
apparatus of Soviet government over a period of more than 
two years, and adopt a number of decisions permitting the 
whole of our Socialist Republic to concentrate all the forces 
of the working people with redoubled firmness, determination, 
energy and efficiency on achieving the best possible solution 
of the urgent problem of rapidly and thoroughly overcoming 
economic chaos. 

We invite all Party members and all Party organisations 
to concentrate the maximum effort on this problem, both in 
the practical work of all Soviet institutions and in the work 
of preparation for the Congress. For these tasks merge into 
one indivisible whole. 

Happily, the time for purely theoretical discussions, dis- 
putes over general questions and the adoption of resolu- 
tions on principles has passed. That stage is over; it was 
dealt with and settled yesterday and the day before yester- 
day. We must march ahead, and we must realise that we are 
now confronted by a practical task, the business task of 
rapidly overcoming economic chaos, and we must do it with 
all our strength, with truly revolutionary energy, and with 
the same devotion with which our finest worker and peasant 
comrades, the Red Army men, defeated Kolchak, Yudenich 
and Denikin. 

We must march ahead, we must look ahead, and we must 
bring to the Congress the practical experience of economic de- 
velopment to which thought has been given and which has 
been carefully analysed by the common labour and common 
effort of all members of the Party. 

We have learned something, and in order to march ahead 
and to overcome economic chaos, what we have to do is not 
to start anew, not to reconstruct everything right and left, 
but to utilise to the utmost what has already been created. 
There must be as little general reconstruction as possible 
and as many as possible business-like measures, ways, means 
and directions for the attainment of our chief aim which 
have been tested in practice and verified by results — we must 



have more workers in our apparatus, and see that it is done 
still more widely, still more rapidly and still better, we 
must enlist an even greater number of workers and labouring 
peasants in the work of administering industry and the 
national economy generally; not only must we enlist indi- 
vidual workers and peasants who have best proved themselves 
on the job, but we must enlist to a larger extent the trade 
unions and conferences of non-party workers and peasants; we 
must enlist literally all bourgeois specialists (because there 
are incredibly few of them) — i.e., specialists who have been 
trained under bourgeois conditions and who have reaped the 
fruits of bourgeois culture. We must organise things so 
that, in conformity with the demands of our Party Pro- 
gramme, our working masses may really learn from these 
bourgeois specialists and at the same time place them "in a 
comradely environment of common labour hand in hand with 
the masses of rank-and-file workers led by class-conscious 
Communists" (as our Party Programme puts it); such are 
our chief aims. 

Comrades, we have hitherto been able to surmount the 
untold difficulties which history has placed in the way 
of the first socialist republic because the proletariat has 
properly understood its tasks as dictator, i.e., as the lead- 
er, organiser and teacher of all the working people. We 
won because we have always correctly defined the most 
urgent, insistent and pressing task and have really con- 
centrated on this task the forces of all the working people 
of the whole nation. 

Military victories are easier to win than economic vic- 
tory. It was much easier to defeat Kolchak, Yudenich and 
Denikin than to defeat the old petty-bourgeois customs 
relations, habits and economic conditions upheld and repro- 
duced by millions and millions of small owners, alongside of 
the workers, together with them, and in the midst of them. 

Victory in this field requires greater endurance, greater 
patience, greater persistence, greater steadfastness, greater 
system in work, greater organisational and administrative 
skill on the grand scale. This is what we, a backward nation 
lack most of all. 

Let all members of the Party exert their efforts to bring 
to the Party Congress practical experience, tested, analysed 



and summarised. If we bend all our efforts and succeed in 
pooling, testing and analysing in a careful, thoroughgoing 
and business-like way this practical experience, exactly 
what each of us has attempted and completed, or has seen 
others attempt and complete, then, and only then, will 
our Party Congress, and, following it, all our Soviet insti- 
tutions, accomplish the practical task of overcoming eco- 
nomic chaos as rapidly and surely as possible. 

From congresses and meetings to discuss general ques- 
tions to congresses and meetings to summarise practical 
experience — that is the slogan of our times. The task of 
the moment and the task of the Party Congress, as we con- 
ceive it, is to learn from practical experience, to discard what 
is harmful, to combine all that is valuable, in order to deter- 
mine precisely a number of immediate practical measures, 
and to carry out these measures at all costs, not hesitating 
at any sacrifices. 

Bulletin of the C.C. 
R.C.P.iB.) No. 13, 
March 2, 1920 

Published according to 
the manuscript 



Capitalism combines formal equality with economic 
and, consequently, social inequality. That is one of the 
principal features of capitalism, one that is deliberately 
obscured by the supporters of the bourgeoisie, the liberals, 
and is not understood by petty-bourgeois democrats. This 
feature of capitalism, incidentally, renders it necessary for 
us in our resolute fight for economic equality openly to 
admit capitalist inequality, and even, under certain con- 
ditions, to make this open admission of inequality the basis 
of the proletarian statehood (the Soviet Constitution). 

But even in the matter of formal equality (equality be- 
fore the law, the "equality" of the well-fed and the hungry, 
of the man of property and the propertyless), capitalism 
cannot be consistent. And one of the most glaring mani- 
festations of this inconsistency is the inequality of women. 
Complete equality has not been granted even by the most 
progressive republican, and democratic bourgeois states. 

The Soviet Republic of Russia, on the other hand, at 
once swept away all legislative traces of the inequality of 
women without exception, and immediately ensured their 
complete equality before the law. 

It is said that the best criterion of the cultural level is 
the legal status of women. This aphorism contains a grain 
of profound truth. From this standpoint only the dictator- 
ship of the proletariat, only the socialist state could attain, 
as it has attained, the highest cultural level. The new, 
mighty and unparalleled stimulus given to the working 
women's movement is therefore inevitably associated with 
the foundation (and consolidation) of the first Soviet 



Republic — and, in addition to and in connection with this, 
with the Communist International. 

Since mention has been made of those who were oppressed 
by capitalism, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, 
it must be said that the Soviet system, and only the Soviet 
system, guarantees democracy. This is clearly shown by 
the position of the working class and the poor peasants. It 
is clearly shown by the position of women. 

But the Soviet system is the last decisive struggle for the 
abolition of classes, for economic and social equality. De- 
mocracy, even democracy for those who were oppressed by 
capitalism, including the oppressed sex, is not enough for us. 

It is the chief task of the working women's movement to 
fight for economic and social equality, and not only formal 
equality, for women. The chief thing is to get women to take 
part in socially productive labour, to liberate them from 
"domestic slavery", to free them from their stupefying and 
humiliating subjugation to the eternal drudgery of the 
kitchen and the nursery. 

This struggle will be a long one, and it demands a radical 
reconstruction both of social technique and of morals. But 
it will end in the complete triumph of communism. 

March 4, 1920 

Pravda, March 8, 1920 
(special issue) 
Signed: N. Lenin 

Published according to 
the Pravda text 


MARCH 6, 1920 

Comrades, I very much regret that there is little proba- 
bility of my being able to discharge the duties hinted at 
by the Chairman in reference to my membership of the 
Moscow Soviet. 134 I am nevertheless very glad to have the 
opportunity of greeting the new Moscow Soviet. Permit me 
to say a few words about the tasks which, owing to the 
general situation in the country, fall particularly to the lot 
of the Moscow workers, and first and foremost of the Moscow 

Comrades, it seems there is every hope that we shall, in 
the near future, emerge completely victorious from the war 
which was forced upon us by the landowners and capitalists 
of Russia in alliance with the capitalists of the whole world. 
I have just received a telegram from a member of the 
Revolutionary Military Council of the Caucasian Front, the 
last remaining front of any importance. This telegram states 
that the resistance of the enemy has been broken in all 
directions (applause), so that now that we have finished 
with the Kolchak front and the Archangel front, the day is 
apparently not far off when the Denikin front, too, will be 
completely eliminated. But, comrades, no matter how greatly 
the results of the Civil War and the international situation 
may favour us, and even though the imperialist powers are 
obviously on the eve of a complete breakdown, and all 
their attempts to unite anybody at all for a war against 
us have ended in failure — no matter how favourable this 



situation may be, it must be said that the danger, even the 
foreign danger, is not yet over. Attempts are still being made, 
especially by imperialist France, to incite Poland to make 
war on Russia. You all know, of course, from the press, 
from the decisions of the Central Executive Committee, 
and from all the statements made at the Cossack Congress 
and many other congresses, that the Soviet Republic, on 
its part, has done all it could to prevent this war, that we 
have proposed peace to the Polish nation not only officially 
but in the most friendly way, and have most solemnly rec- 
ognised the independence of the Polish state, and have 
made the most positive declarations to this effect. From the 
military standpoint, we have done everything we could to 
prevent the Polish landowners and capitalists from carrying 
out their designs — perhaps not so much their own designs 
as those of imperialist France, who stands behind their 
back and to whom they are up to their ears in debt. We 
have done everything we could to prevent these capitalists 
and landowners from carrying out their design of inciting 
the Polish nation to make war on Russia. But although we 
have done everything we could, future action does not 
depend upon us. Even the Polish landowners and capitalists 
themselves do not know what they will do tomorrow. The 
internal situation in Poland is so grave that they may 
embark on such a dubious venture because of the obvious 
danger to their class position, because they feel their end 
approaching. Consequently, although we have won many 
victories, we have no guarantee at all that we are secure 
against foreign attack, and we must be on our guard, we 
must preserve, develop and strengthen our military pre- 
paredness, so as to accomplish the task that confronts the 
working class. If, in spite of all our efforts, the Polish 
imperialists, supported by France, embark on a war against 
Russia, if they launch their military venture, they must 
receive, and will receive, such a rebuff that their fragile 
capitalism and imperialism will fall to pieces. 

We do not conceal from ourselves, especially from the 
Moscow and other Russian workers, that fresh effort and 
new and gigantic sacrifices are now demanded of us, which 
will be all the more severe because we are just now at the 
end of a winter — February and March — that has brought 



a new aggravation of want, hunger and suffering owing to 
the ruined state of our railway system. And I must tell 
you that the war on the bloody front, the civil war directed 
against the imperialists, is to all appearances coming to 
an end, and that anyway the enemy can offer no serious 
menace to us since the attempts of the Entente to launch 
a general war against us have suffered decisive defeat; the 
war on the bloodless front, however, still continues and 
will continue for a long time to come. For the more we leave 
the military danger behind us the more we are faced with 
the tasks of internal development; and these have to be 
carried out by the working class, which has taken upon 
itself the mission of leading the working masses. These 
tasks — the restoration of a ruined country and a ruined 
economy, and the organisation of a socialist society — cannot 
be accomplished without a war on the bloodless front. That 
is what the advanced workers, who are now forming the new 
Moscow Soviet, must impress most firmly on their minds, 
for the Moscow workers have always been a model, and for 
some time to come must continue to be a model, which will 
be followed by the workers of other cities. 

We must remember that we are grappling with the task 
of making a socialist revolution in a country where peasants 
form the greater part of the population. We have now been 
joined by the peasant masses of Siberia, where the peasants 
have surpluses of grain, where they have been corrupted by 
capitalism, cling to the old freedom of trade, and consider 
it their sacred right — in this respect they are being led 
astray by the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries 
(that is their sad lot — there is nothing else for them to do) — 
they consider it their sacred right to practise freedom of 
trade in grain surpluses, believing that they can retain 
this right. It does not matter to them that this supposed 
civil equality implies the exploitation of the hungry by the 
well-fed; for peasants who have grain surpluses and refuse 
to let the starving have them are putting into effect the 
principles of capitalist relations. They are people who, 
after having been exploited for hundreds of years, have now 
become their own masters for the first time, and are in a 
position, owing to their grain surpluses, to enslave the 
workers, who, as a result of the collapse of industry, are 



unable to give any equivalent in return for the grain. For 
this reason our attitude towards these petty-bourgeois 
property-owners, towards the small profiteers, who number 
millions and who think that because they possess surpluses 
of grain the farther we go the more they will make, and that 
the worse the famine the more profitable it will be for those 
who have grain — our attitude towards them must be one of 
war. This we say bluntly, and this is the basis of the dicta- 
torship of the proletariat, which openly declares to the work- 
er and peasant masses: "The working peasant is our ally, 
our friend and brother; but when the peasant acts as a prop- 
erty-owner holding a surplus of grain not required by his 
household, and acts towards us as a property-owner, as a 
well-fed man towards a hungry man, such a peasant is our 
enemy, and we will fight him with the utmost determina- 
tion, the utmost ruthlessness." Victory over the small prop- 
erty-owners, over the small profiteers, is no easy matter. 
They cannot be eliminated in one year, many years will 
be required; it will take organised resistance, stubborn 
and steadfast work, step by step over a long period of time — 
it will take an incessant day-to-day struggle, which it is 
particularly difficult to wage and in which the profiteering 
peasant is very often victorious over the worker. But we 
will fight on the bloodless front so that the hungry may 
secure from the well-fed the surpluses they possess, 
despite all obstacles and despite the desire of the 
Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks to introduce 
freedom of trade and leave these surpluses in the possession 
of the well-fed. 

We have done a great deal of work during the past two 
years. We have enlisted the peasant and worker masses in 
this work, and have everywhere been able to secure what we 
needed. At a time when the whiteguard officers, the former 
tsarist officers, were fighting us on the side of our enemies, 
we enlisted tens and hundreds of these experts in our work, 
which helped to remake them. They helped us do our work, 
in conjunction with our commissars. They themselves 
learned from us how the work should be done, and in return 
gave us the benefit of their technical knowledge. And it was 
only with their help that the Red Army was able to win the 
victories it did. We must now divert all this work into 



another channel. It must be work of a peaceful character; 
we must devote everything to the work on the labour front. 
We must direct our former property-owners, who were our 
enemies. We must mobilise all who are capable of working 
and compel them to work with us. We must at all costs 
wipe from the face of the earth the last traces of the policy 
of the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries — the policy 
which talks of personal freedom, etc. — because it would doom 
us to starvation. This attitude must be adopted in all our 
work. The advanced section of the proletariat is assuming 
the leadership of the rest of the population, and it says: "We 
must get you to understand our ideas fully and to put them 
into effect, just as we got you to come over more and more to 
our side." 

The first task that confronts us here is to clean up 
Moscow, to put an end to the filth and state of neglect 
into which it has sunk. We must do this so as to set an exam- 
ple to the whole country, where this filth, which brings 
with it epidemics and disease, is becoming more and more 
prevalent. We must set this example here, in Moscow, an 
example such as Moscow has set many times before. 

We must bear in mind that we are faced with the task of 
restoring the transport system. In the spring we must intro- 
duce control by the worker masses. We must effect it in 
respect of those market gardeners in the vicinity of Moscow 
who are taking advantage of the fact that there are starving 
fellow-beings around them to pocket millions. The fact that 
any rich market gardener can squeeze untold profits out of 
his poor neighbours is an atrocious injustice, which we 
cannot tolerate. 

What must we do? Specialists must give us the benefit 
of their knowledge so that we may carry our ideas into 
effect. The class which has just elected the new Moscow 
Soviet must tackle this work, and carry it out more practi- 
cally and in greater detail than hitherto. 

We know that the proletariat is not very large numeri- 
cally; but we also know that the Petrograd workers, who 
were in the front ranks of the Red Army, gave us their best 
forces whenever we needed them, gave them for the fight 
against the enemy in greater numbers than we thought 
possible. We have said that Petrograd, Moscow and Ivanovo- 



Voznesensk have given us a vast number of people. But 
that is not enough; they must give us all we need. We 
have to utilise all the bourgeois specialists who accumulated 
knowledge in the past and who must pay with this knowledge 
now. It is with the help of these people that we must do our 
work; it is with their help that we must conquer all we need — 
conquer, and create our own militant contingents of workers 
who will learn from them and direct them, and who will 
always turn to the broad masses of the workers to explain 
this experience. That is what the Moscow Soviet, as one of 
the most important and one of the biggest of the proletarian 
Soviets, must accomplish at all costs. The fifteen hundred 
members of the Moscow Soviet, plus the alternate members, 
constitute an apparatus through which you can draw upon 
the masses and constantly enlist them, inexperienced though 
they are, in the work of administering the state. 

The worker and peasant masses who have to build up our 
entire state must start by organising state control. You 
will obtain this apparatus from among the worker and peas- 
ant masses, from among the young workers and peasants 
who have been fired as never before with the independent 
desire, the readiness and determination to set about the 
work of administering the state themselves. We have learned 
from the experiences of the war and shall promote thousands 
of people who have passed through the school of the Soviets 
and are capable of governing the state. You must recruit 
the most diffident and undeveloped, the most timid of the 
workers for the workers' inspection and promote them. Let 
them progress in this work. When they have seen how the 
workers' inspection participates in state affairs, let them 
gradually proceed from the simple duties they are able to 
carry out — at first only as onlookers — to more important 
functions of state. You will secure a flow of assistants 
from the widest sources who will take upon themselves the 
burden of government, who will come to lend a hand and 
to work. We need tens of thousands of new advanced 
workers. Turn for support to the non-party workers and 
peasants, turn to them, for our Party must remain a narrow 
party, surrounded as it is by enemies on all sides. At a time 
when hostile elements are trying by every method of 
warfare, deceit and provocation to cling to us and to take 



advantage of the fact that membership of a government party 
offers certain privileges, we must act in contact with the 
non-party people. The laws on the Workers' and Peasants' 
Inspection grant the right to enlist non-party workers and 
peasants and their conferences in the work of government. 
This apparatus is one of the means whereby we can increase 
the number of workers and peasants who will help us to 
achieve victory on the internal front in a few years. For a 
long time this victory will not be as simply, decisively and 
clearly apparent as the victory on the war front. This 
victory demands vigilance and effort, and you can ensure 
it by carrying out the job of development of Moscow and its 
environs and helping in the general work of restoring the 
transport system, of restoring that general economic organi- 
sation which will help us to get rid of the direct and indi- 
rect influence of the profiteers and to vanquish the old 
traditions of capitalism. We should not grudge a few years 
for this. Even if we had these conditions, such social re- 
forms as these would be without parallel, and here to set 
ourselves tasks designed only for a short period of time 
would be a great mistake. 

Allow me to conclude by expressing the hope and assur- 
ance that the new Moscow Soviet, bearing in mind all the 
experience gained by its predecessor in the course of the 
Civil War, will draw new forces from among the youth and 
will tackle the affairs of economic development with all 
the energy, firmness and persistence with which we tackled 
military affairs, and so gain victories which, if not as bril- 
liant, will be more solid and substantial. 

Published in 1921 in Published according to 

Verbatim Reports of the the book 

Plenary Sessions of the 
Moscow Soviet of Workers', 
Peasants' and Red Army 
Deputies, Moscow 


MARCH 6, 1920 

Comrades, a year has passed since the founding of the 
Communist International. During this year the Communist 
International has been successful beyond all expectation; 
we may say boldly that at the time of its foundation no one 
expected such immense successes. 

In the early period of the revolution many entertained 
the hope that the socialist revolution would begin in Western 
Europe immediately the imperialist war ended; at the time 
when the masses were armed there could have been a suc- 
cessful revolution in some of the Western countries as well. 
It could have taken place, had it not been for the split 
within the proletariat of Western Europe being deeper and 
the treachery of the former socialist leaders greater than had 
been imagined. 

To this day we lack exact information on how the demo- 
bilisation proceeded and how the war is being wound up. 
We do not know, for example, what happened in Holland, 
and only from an article containing an account of a Dutch 
Communist's speech (from one chance article — there were 
many such articles) have I been able to learn that the revo- 
lutionary movement in Holland, a neutral country that was 
less involved in the imperialist war, assumed such dimensions 
that the formation of Soviets was started, and Troelstra, 
one of the most important figures in the opportunist Dutch 
Social-Democratic Party, admitted that the workers 
could have seized power. 



Had the International not been in the hands of traitors 
who worked to save the bourgeoisie at the critical moment, 
there would have been many chances of a speedy revolution 
in many belligerent countries as soon as the war ended and 
also in some neutral countries, where the people were armed; 
then the outcome would have been different. 

Things did not turn out that way, revolution did not 
succeed so quickly, and it now has to follow the whole path 
of development that we began even before the first revolu- 
tion, before 1905; for it was only due to more than ten years 
having passed before 1917 that we were capable of leading 
the proletariat. 

What happened in 1905 was, so to speak, a rehearsal for 
the revolution, and it was partly because of this that we in 
Russia succeeded in using the moment of the collapse of the- 
imperialist war for the proletariat to seize power. Owing 
to historical developments, owing to the utter rottenness 
of the autocracy, we were able to begin the revolution with 
ease; but the easier it was to begin it the harder it has 
been for this solitary country to continue it, and with the 
experience of this year behind us we can say to ourselves 
that in other countries, where the workers are more devel- 
oped, where there is more industry, where the workers are 
far more numerous, the revolution has developed more 
slowly. It has taken our path, but at a much slower pace. 

The workers are continuing this slow development, 
paving the way for the proletarian victory which is advancing 
with undoubtedly greater speed than was the case with us; 
because when you look at the Third International you won- 
der that it has spread so rapidly, moving from success to 

Look at the way our ugly words, such as "Bolshevism", 
for example, are spreading throughout the world. Despite 
the fact that we call ourselves the Communist Party, and 
that the name "Communist" is a scientific, European term, 
it is not as widespread in European and other countries as 
the word "Bolshevik" is. Our Russian word "Soviet" is one 
of the most widely used, it is not even translated into other 
languages, but is pronounced everywhere in Russian. 

Despite the lies in the bourgeois press, despite the furious 
resistance offered by the entire bourgeoisie, the sympathies 



of the masses of the workers are on the side of the Soviets, 
Soviet power and Bolshevism. The more the bourgeoisie 
lied the more they helped to spread throughout the world 
what we had experienced with Kerensky. 

On their arrival from Germany, some of the Bolsheviks 
were met here with attacks and persecutions, organised in 
the "democratic republic" in real American style. Kerensky, 
the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks did their 
best to assist this witch-hunt. In this way they stirred up 
sections of the proletariat and made them think that there 
must be something good about the Bolsheviks if they are 
subjected to such persecution. (Applause.) 

And when you get fragmentary information from abroad 
from time to time, when — being unable to follow the entire 
press — you read, for example, Britain's richest newspaper, 
The Times, and find it quoting Bolshevik statements to 
prove that during the war the Bolsheviks were preaching 
civil war, you draw the conclusion that even the cleverest 
representatives of the bourgeoisie have completely lost 
their heads. This British newspaper directs attention to the 
book Against the Stream, recommends it to British readers 
and gives quotations to show that the Bolsheviks are the 
very worst of people, who speak of the criminal character 
of the imperialist war and preach civil war; it convinces you 
that the entire bourgeoisie, while they hate us, are 
helping us — and we bow to them and thank them. 

We have no daily press either in Europe or in America; 
information about our work is very meagre, and our com- 
rades are suffering the most severe persecution. But when 
you see that the very wealthy Allied imperialist press, from 
which hundreds of thousands of other newspapers draw their 
information, has lost its sense of proportion to such a degree 
that in its desire to injure the Bolsheviks it prints numerous 
quotations from the writings of Bolsheviks, digging them 
up from war-time publications in order to prove that we 
spoke of the criminal character of the war and worked to 
transform it into a civil war, it shows that these very 
clever gentlemen will become as stupid as our Kerensky and 
his comrades were. We can therefore vouch for it that these 
people, the leaders of British imperialism, will make a 



clean and enduring job of helping the communist revolution. 

Comrades, before the war it seemed that the main divi- 
sion in the working-class movement was the division into 
socialists and anarchists. Not only did it seem so; it was 
so. In the protracted period that preceded the imperialist 
war and the revolution, no objective revolutionary situa- 
tion existed in the overwhelming majority of European 
countries. What had to be done at that time was to use this 
slow process for revolutionary preparation. The socialists 
began it, but the anarchists did not see the need for it. The 
war created a revolutionary situation, and the old division 
proved to be outdated. On the one hand, the top leaders of 
anarchism and socialism became chauvinists; they showed 
what it meant to defend their own bourgeois robbers against 
other bourgeois robbers, both of whom were responsible for 
the loss of millions of lives in the war. On the other hand, new 
trends arose among the rank and file of the old parties — 
against the war, against imperialism and for social revolu- 
tion. A most profound crisis thus developed owing to the 
war; both the anarchists and the socialists split, because the 
parliamentary leaders of the socialists were in the chau- 
vinist wing while an ever-growing minority of the rank 
and file left them and began to take the side of the 

Thus the working-class movement in all countries followed 
a new line, not the line of the anarchists and the socialists, 
but one that could lead to the dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat. This split had become apparent throughout the world 
and had started before the Third International was founded. 

If our party has been successful it is because it came into 
being when the situation was revolutionary and when the 
labour movement was already in existence in all countries; 
and we therefore see now that a split has taken place in 
socialism and anarchism. All over the world, this is leading 
to communist workers participating in the formation of new 
organisations and to their uniting in the Third International. 
That is the most correct attitude. 

Disagreements are again arising, for example, over the 
question of using parliaments, but since the experience of 
the Russian revolution and the Civil War, since the figure 



of Liebknecht and his role and importance among parlia- 
mentarians, have become known to the world, it is absurd 
to reject the revolutionary use of parliaments. It has become 
clear to people of the old way of thinking that the question 
of the state cannot be presented in the old way, that the old, 
bookish approach to this question has been succeeded by 
a new one based on practice and born of the revolutionary 

A united and centralised force of the proletariat must 
be counterposed to the united and centralised force of the 
bourgeoisie. The question of the state has thus now been 
shifted to a new plane, and the old disagreement has begun 
to lose its meaning. The old division of the working-class 
movement has yielded to new ones, the attitude towards 
Soviet government and to the dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat having assumed prime importance. 

The Soviet Constitution is clear evidence of what the 
Russian revolution has produced. Our experience and the 
study of it have shown that all the groups of the old issues 
are now reduced to one: for or against Soviet rule, either for 
bourgeois rule, for democracy (for those forms of democracy 
which promise equality between the well-fed and the hungry, 
equality between the capitalist and the worker at the 
ballot-box, between the exploiters and the exploited, and 
serve to camouflage capitalist slavery), or for proletarian 
rule, for the ruthless suppression of the exploiters, for the 
Soviet state. 

Only supporters of capitalist slavery can favour bour- 
geois democracy. We can see that in the whiteguard litera- 
ture of Kolchak and Denikin. Many Russian cities have been 
cleared of this filth, and the literature collected and sent 
to Moscow. When you scan the writings of Russian intel- 
lectuals like Chirikov, or of bourgeois thinkers like Y. Tru- 
betskoi, it is interesting to see that they help Denikin and 
at the same time argue about the Constituent Assembly, 
equality, etc. These arguments about the Constituent Assem- 
bly are of service to us; when they conducted this propaganda 
among the whiteguard rank and file they helped us in the 
same way as the entire course of the Civil War, all the 
events, helped us. By their own arguments they proved that 
Soviet rule is backed by sincere revolutionaries who 



sympathise with the struggle against the capitalists. That 
has been made perfectly clear during the Civil War. 

After the experience gained, after what has happened 
in Russia, Finland and Hungary, after a year's experience 
in the democratic republics, in Germany, one cannot object 
to, and write disquisitions about, the need for a central 
authority, for dictatorship and a united will to ensure that 
the vanguard of the proletariat shall close its ranks, de- 
velop the state and place it upon a new footing, while firmly 
holding the reins of power. Democracy has completely 
exposed itself; that is why signs of the strengthening 
of the communist movement for Soviet rule, for the dictator- 
ship of the proletariat, have increased tremendously in all 
countries and have taken on the most diverse forms. 

This has reached a point where such parties as the German 
Independents and the French Socialist Party, which are 
dominated by leaders of the old type who have failed to 
understand either the new propaganda or the new conditions, 
and have not in the least changed their parliamentary activi- 
ty, but are turning it into a means of dodging important 
issues and engaging the workers' attention with parliamen- 
tary debates — even these leaders have to recognise the 
dictatorship of the proletariat and Soviet power. This is 
because the masses of the workers are making themselves 
felt and forcing them to recognise it. 

You know from the speeches of other comrades that the 
breakaway of the German Party of Independents, the recogni- 
tion of the dictatorship of the proletariat and of Soviet 
government was the last decisive blow dealt to the Second 
International. Taking the existing state of affairs into 
consideration, it may be said that the Second International 
has been killed, and that the proletarian masses in Germany, 
Britain and France are taking the side of the Communists. 
In Britain there is also a party of Independents which per- 
sists in adhering to legality and in condemning the violence 
of the Bolsheviks. A discussion forum was recently opened 
in their newspaper. Well, the question of Soviets is being 
discussed there, and next to an article printed in British 
working-class newspapers we see an article by an Englishman 
who refuses to reckon with the theory of socialism and per- 
sists in his stupid contempt for theory, but who, taking the 



conditions of life in Britain into consideration, reaches 
a definite conclusion and says that they cannot condemn 
the Soviets, but should support them. 

This shows that things have begun to change even among 
the backward sections of the workers in countries like Brit- 
ain, and it may be said that the old forms of socialism have 
been killed for ever. 

Europe is not moving towards revolution the way we did, 
although essentially Europe is going through the same 
experience. In its own way, every country must go through, 
and has begun to go through, an internal struggle against 
its own Mensheviks and against its own opportunists and 
Socialist-Revolutionaries, which exist under different names 
to a greater or lesser degree in all countries. 

And it is because they are experiencing this independently 
that we can be sure the victory of the communist revolution 
in all countries is inevitable and that the greater the vacilla- 
tions in the enemies' ranks, and the uncertainty in their 
declarations that the Bolsheviks are criminals and that they 
will never conclude peace with them, the better for us. 

They are now saying that even if they do trade with the 
Bolsheviks they will not recognise them. We have nothing 
against that; try it, gentlemen, please. As for your not recog- 
nising us, we can understand that. We would consider it 
a mistake on your part if you did recognise us. But if you 
have become so muddled that you first declare that the Bol- 
sheviks are violators of all the laws of God and man, and 
that you will not talk or make peace with them, and then 
say that you will begin exchanges, without recognising our 
policy, that is a victory for us which will give an impulse 
to and strengthen the communist movement among the 
masses in every country. So deep is the movement that, in 
addition to those that are officially affiliated to the Third 
International, a number of movements are to be seen in the 
advanced countries, movements that do not adhere either to 
socialism or communism, but which are being drawn 
towards Bolshevism by the force of circumstances although 
they continue to condemn it. 

War in the twentieth century, in a civilised country, com- 
pels governments to expose their own actions. A French 
newspaper has published some documents belonging to the 



ex-Emperor Charles of Austria who in 1916 offered peace to 
France. Now that his letter has been published, the workers 
are asking Albert Thomas, the socialist leader, who was in 
the government at the time, what he did when an offer of 
peace- was made to that government. When Albert Thomas 
was asked about it, he made no reply. 

These exposures have only just begun. The masses of 
the people are literate, and neither in Europe nor in America 
can they retain the old attitude towards war. They are asking 
for what cause 10 million people were killed and 20 million 
crippled. The presentation of this question makes the popu- 
lar masses turn towards the dictatorship of the proletariat. 
To present this question is to answer it: 10 million people 
were killed and 20 million crippled in order to settle the 
issue of who would amass the greater wealth, the German or 
the British capitalists. That is the truth, and no matter 
what efforts are made to conceal it, it is spreading. 

The fall of the capitalist governments is unavoidable, 
because everybody can see that another war like the last 
is inevitable if the imperialists and the bourgeoisie remain 
in power. New disputes and conflicts are developing between 
Japan and America. They have been prepared by decades in 
the diplomatic history of the two countries. Wars are 
inevitable because of private property. War is inevitable 
between Britain, which has acquired colonies through 
plunder, and France, which considers herself robbed of her 
full share. No one knows where and how it will break out, 
but everybody sees, knows and says that war is inevitable, 
and is being prepared again. 

This situation in the twentieth century, in countries with 
a totally literate population, is our guarantee that the old 
reformism and anarchism are out of the question. They 
were killed by the war. To talk of using reforms in order to 
remake the capitalist society which spent thousands of 
millions of rubles on the war, to talk of remaking this 
society without a revolutionary government and without 
force, without tremendous upheavals, is impermissible. 
Anyone who speaks and thinks that way is of no importance. 

The Communist International is strong because it is based 
on the lessons of the world imperialist slaughter. In every 
country the correctness of its position finds increasing con- 



firmation in the experience of millions of people, and the 
movement towards the Communist International is now a 
hundred times wider and deeper than before. It has brought 
about the complete break-down of the Second International 
in one year. 

In every country (even the most undeveloped) in the world, 
all thinking workers are aligning themselves with the Com- 
munist International, and are accepting its ideas. Therein 
lies the full guarantee that the victory of the Communist 
International throughout the world, in the not very distant 
future, is assured. (Applause.) 

Communist International 
No. 10, 1920 
Signed: N. Lenin 

Published according to 
the magazine text 


MARCH 15, 1920 

The water transport system is at the moment of the great- 
est importance and significance to Soviet Russia, and the 
Congress will certainly devote the most serious attention 
and care to the tasks that confront water transport workers. 
Allow me to dwell on the question which the Communist 
Party and the trade unions are more interested in than in 
any other, and which you too no doubt are keenly debating; 
I refer to the management of industry. This question figures 
as a special point on the agenda of the Party Congress. 
Theses on the subject are being published. The comrades 
in the water transport system must also discuss it. 

You know that one of the points in dispute, one that 
arouses the liveliest discussion both in the press and at meet- 
ings, is that of one-man management or corporate manage- 
ment. I think that the preference for corporate management 
not infrequently betrays an inadequate comprehension of 
the tasks confronting the Republic; what is more, it often 
testifies to insufficient class-consciousness. When I reflect 
on this question, I always feel like saying that the workers 
have not yet learned enough from the bourgeoisie. This is 
graphically shown by the countries where the democratic 
socialists, or Social-Democrats, prevail, who are now parti- 
cipating in governments in Europe and America, under 
various guises and in some form of alliance with the bour- 
geoisie. They have been ordained by God himself to share 
the old prejudices; but in our country, after two years of 
proletarian rule, we should not only want, but should strive 
to inculcate upon the proletariat a class-consciousness that 
does not fall short of that of the bourgeoisie. Look how the 


bourgeoisie administer the state; how they have organised 
the bourgeois class. In the old days, could you have found 
anyone who shared the views of the bourgeoisie and was 
their loyal defender, and yet argued that individual authori- 
ty is incompatible with the administration of the state? 
If there had been such a blockhead among the bourgeoisie 
he would have been laughed to scorn by his own class fellows, 
and would not have been allowed to talk or hold forth at 
any important meeting of capitalists and bourgeois. They 
would have asked him what the question of administration 
through one person or through a corporate body had to do 
with the question of class. 

The shrewdest and richest bourgeoisies are the British 
and American; the British are in many respects more experi- 
enced, and they know how to rule better than the Americans. 
And do they not furnish us with examples of maximum indi- 
vidual dictatorship, of maximum speed in administration, 
and yet they keep the power fully and entirely in the hands 
of their own class? There you have a lesson, comrades, and 
I think that if you give it some thought, if you recall the not 
very distant past, when the Ryabushinskys, Morozovs and 
other capitalists ruled Russia — if you recall how, after the 
overthrow of the autocracy, during the eight months Ke- 
rensky, the Mensheviks and the Socialist-Revolutionaries 
were in power, they managed so perfectly and with such 
remarkable rapidity to change their hue, to assume every 
kind of label, to make every kind of outward, formal con- 
cession, and yet keep the power fully and completely in the 
hands of their own class — I think that a little reflection on 
the lesson of Britain and on this concrete example will do 
much more to help understand the matter of one-man 
management than many abstract, purely theoretical resolu- 
tions, compiled in advance. 

It is claimed that corporate management means manage- 
ment by the workers, and that individual management means 
non-worker management. The mere fact that the question is 
presented in this way, the mere fact that this sort of argu- 
ment is used shows that we still lack a sufficiently clear 
class-consciousness; and not only so, but that we are less 
clear about our class interests than the bourgeois gentry 
are. And that is natural. They did not learn to rule in two 



years, but in two hundred years, and much more than two 
hundred years if you take the European bourgeoisie. We 
must not give way to despair because we have been unable 
to learn everything in two years; but it is important — events 
demand it — that we should learn more rapidly than our 
enemies have. They have had hundreds of years to learn 
in; they have opportunities to learn all over again and cor- 
rect their mistakes, because on a world scale they are 
infinitely stronger than we are. We have no time to learn; 
we must approach the question of corporate management 
from the standpoint of positive and concrete facts. I am 
sure you will come to adopt the policy on this question out- 
lined by the Central Committee of the Party; it has been 
published and is being discussed at every Party meeting, 
but for the men on the job, for the water transport workers, 
who have been at it for two years the truth of this is 
obvious. And I hope the vast majority of those present here, 
who are familiar with practical management, will under- 
stand that we must not confine ourselves to a general discus- 
sion of the question, but must act like serious practical men, 
abolishing the collegiums and managing without them. 

All administrative work requires special qualifications. 
You may be the very best of revolutionaries and propagan- 
dists, and yet be absolutely useless as an administrator. But 
anybody who studies real life and has practical experience 
knows that management necessarily implies competency, 
that a knowledge of all the conditions of production down to 
the last detail and of the latest technology of your branch 
of production is required; you must have had a certain 
scientific training. These are the conditions we must satisfy 
at any cost. And when we move general resolutions in which 
we talk with the pomposity of experts about corporate 
management and one-man management, the conviction gradu- 
ally dawns upon us that we know practically nothing about 
management, but we are beginning to learn a little from 
experience, to weigh every step and to promote every 
administrator who shows any ability. 

You know from the debates in the Central Committee that 
we are not opposed to placing workers at the head, but we 
say that this question must be settled in the interests of 
production. We cannot wait. The country is so badly ruined, 



calamities — famine, cold and general want — have reached 
such a pitch that we cannot continue like this any longer. No 
devotion, no self-sacrifice can save us if we do not keep the 
workers alive, if we do not provide them with bread, if 
we do not succeed in procuring large quantities of salt, so 
as to recompense the peasants by properly organised 
exchange and not with pieces of coloured paper which cannot 
keep us going for long. The very existence of the power of 
the workers and peasants, the very existence of Soviet 
Russia is at stake. With management in the hands of in- 
competent people, with fuel not delivered in time, with 
locomotives, steamers and barges standing unrepaired, the 
very existence of Soviet Russia is at stake. 

Our rail transport system is in a far worse state than our 
water transport system. It has been ruined by the Civil 
War, which was mainly conducted along the land routes; 
both sides destroyed mostly bridges, and this has put the 
whole railway system in a desperate state of ruin. We shall 
restore it. Almost daily we are doing a little bit towards 
restoring it. But it will be some time before the system 
is completely restored. If even advanced and cultured 
countries are suffering from disrupted transport systems, 
how are we to restore ours in Russia? But repaired it 
must be, and quickly, for the population cannot endure 
another winter like the last. Whatever the heroism of the 
workers, whatever their spirit of self-sacrifice, they cannot 
go on enduring all the torments of hunger, cold, typhus 
and so on. So tackle the question of management like prac- 
tical men. See to it that management is conducted with the 
minimum expenditure of forces; see to it that the adminis- 
trators, whether experts or workers, are capable men, 
that they all work and manage, and let it be considered 
a crime for them not to take part in the work of management. 
Learn from your own practical experience. Learn from the 
bourgeoisie as well. They knew how to maintain their class 
rule; they have the experience we cannot do without and to 
ignore it would be sheer conceit and entail the utmost danger 
to the revolution. 

Earlier revolutions perished because the workers were 
unable to retain power by means of a firm dictatorship and 
did not realise that they could not retain power by dicta- 



torship, by force, by coercion alone; power can be maintained 
only by adopting the whole experience of cultured, techni- 
cally-equipped, progressive capitalism and by enlisting the 
services of all these people. When workers undertaking the 
job of management for the first time adopt an unfriendly 
attitude towards the expert, the bourgeois, the capitalist 
who only recently was a director, who raked in millions and 
oppressed the workers, we say — and no doubt the majority of 
you also say — that these workers have only just begun to move 
towards communism. If communism could be built with 
experts who were not imbued with the bourgeois outlook, that 
would be very easy; but such communism is a myth. We 
know that nothing drops from the skies; we know that com- 
munism grows out of capitalism and can be built only from 
its remnants, they are bad remnants, it is true, but there 
are no others. Whoever dreams of a mythical communism 
should be driven from every business conference, and only 
those should be allowed to remain who know how to get 
things done with the remnants of capitalism. There are 
tremendous difficulties in the work, but it is fruitful work, 
and every expert must be treasured as being the only ve- 
hicle of technology and culture, without whom there 
can be nothing, without whom there can be no communism. 

Our Red Army was victorious in another sphere because 
we solved this problem in relation to the Red Army. Thou- 
sands of former officers, generals, and colonels of the tsarist 
army betrayed and sold us, and thousands of the finest Red 
Army men perished as a result — that you know. But tens 
of thousands are serving us although they remain supporters 
of the bourgeoisie, and without them there would have been 
no Red Army. And you know that when two years ago we 
tried to create a Red Army without them, it ended in guer- 
rilla methods and disorder; the result was that our ten to 
twelve million soldiers did not make up a single division. 
There was not a single division fit to fight, and with our 
millions of soldiers we were unable to cope with the tiny 
regular army of the whiteguards. We learned this lesson at 
the cost of much bloodshed, and it must now be applied to 

Experience tells us that everyone with a knowledge of 
bourgeois culture, bourgeois science and bourgeois technology 


must be treasured. Without them we shall be unable to 
build communism. The working class, as a class, rules; 
it created Soviet power, holds that power as a class, and can 
take every supporter of bourgeois interests and fling him 
out neck and crop. Therein lies the strength of the proleta- 
riat. But if we are to build a communist society, let us frankly 
admit our complete inability to conduct affairs, to be 
organisers and administrators. We must approach the matter 
with the greatest caution, bearing in mind that only that 
proletarian is class-conscious who is able to prepare the 
bourgeois expert for the forthcoming navigation season and 
who does not waste his time and energy, more than enough of 
which is always wasted on corporate management. 

I repeat, our fate may depend more on the forthcoming 
navigation season than on the forthcoming war with Poland, 
if it is forced upon us. War too, you know, is hampered by 
the break-down of the transport system. We have plenty of 
troops, but we cannot transport them, we cannot supply them 
with food; we cannot bring up salt, of which we have large 
quantities, and without an exchange of goods, proper rela- 
tions with the peasants are inconceivable. That is why 
the entire Republic, Soviet power as a whole, the very exist- 
ence of the power of the workers and peasants, imposes on the 
present navigation season tasks of great and exceptional 
importance. Not one week, not one day, not one minute must 
be lost; we must put an end to this chaos and increase 
our possibilities three- and fourfold. 

Everything, perhaps, depends on fuel, but the fuel situ- 
ation is now better than it was last year. We can float more 
timber, if we do not allow mismanagement. Things are much 
better with regard to oil, to say nothing of the fact that in 
the near future Grozny will most likely be in our hands; 
and although this is still problematical, the Emba fields 
are ours, and there we have ten to fourteen million poods of 
oil already. And if the water transport system helps us to 
deliver large quantities of building material to Saratov 
quickly and in good time, we shall cope with the railway to 
the Emba fields. And you know what it means to have oil for 
the water transport system. We shall not be able to get the 
railways going in a short time. God grant — not God, of 
course, but our ability to overcome the old prejudices of the 



workers — that we improve the railways a little in four or five 
months. And so, the water transport system must carry out a 
task of heroic proportions during this year's navigation period. 

Dash, ardour and enthusiasm alone can do nothing; 
organisation, endurance and honest effort are what will help, 
when the loudest voice is not that of the man who fears the 
bourgeois expert and treats us to general talk, but that 
of the man who is able to establish and to exercise firm 
authority — let it be even individual authority, provided it 
is used in the interests of the proletariat — and who realises 
that everything depends on the water transport system. 

To make progress we must erect a ladder; in order to get 
the sceptical to climb that ladder, we must put things 
in order, we must select and promote people who are able to 
put the water transport system in order. There are some 
who say in reference to military discipline: "The idea! 
What do we want it for?" Such people do not realise the 
situation in Russia and do not realise that although the 
fight on the bloody front is coming to an end, the fight on 
the bloodless front is only beginning, that no less effort, 
exertion and sacrifice is required here, and that the stakes 
are no smaller and the resistance greater rather than less. 
Every wealthy peasant, every kulak and every member of 
the old administration who does not want to act in the inter- 
ests of the workers is our enemy. Do not cherish any illu- 
sions. Victory demands a tremendous struggle and iron, 
military discipline. Whoever does not understand this 
understands nothing about the conditions needed to maintain 
the power of the workers, and his ideas do great harm to this 
power of the workers and peasants. 

That is why, comrades, I will conclude my speech by 
expressing the hope and certainty that you will devote the 
greatest attention to the tasks of the forthcoming navigation 
season, and will make it your aim, and will stop at no sacri- 
fice, to create real, iron, military discipline and to perform 
in the sphere of water transport miracles as great as those 
performed during the past two years by our Red Army. 

Pravda Nos. 59 and 60, 
March 17 and 18, 1920 

Published according to 
the Pravda text 


MARCH 16, 1920 


Referring to the late Comrade Sverdlov's great talent 
as an organiser, Lenin said that this reminded one of the 
significance of organisation and of the role of organisers 
in Soviet development. Describing the extreme importance 
of organisation, Lenin pointed out that organisation was, 
in fact, the principal weapon of the working class in the 
revolutionary struggle. He spoke of the alignment of social 
forces at various periods since the October Revolution, and 
declared that the dictatorship of the proletariat would have 
been impossible had the working people not been united. 
He drew the conclusion that organisation was the mainspring 
of all our successes on the war fronts, as well as of the 
successes gradually being achieved in combating economic 
disruption. Lenin gave an appreciation from this angle 
of the work of the late Comrade Sverdlov as an organiser, 
and went on to say that we had such a vanguard of organ- 
isers because they had passed through a severe school of life 
when they had to work in underground organisations. Such a 
vanguard of organisers was particularly needed at that mo- 
ment in Germany, which was passing through a stage of 
Kornilovism. Lenin said that there were many talented 
organisers among the working people, even among the non- 
party workers and peasants, but that we had not yet learned 
to find them and to place them in suitable posts. He 
expressed the conviction that increasing numbers of organisers 



would in future emerge from among the working people, 
and that they would remember the work of Comrade Sverdlov 
and firmly follow in his footsteps. 

Pravda Nos. 59 
March 17, 1920 

Published according to 
the Pravda text 





Comrades, the great victories of the Red Army have 
delivered us from the onslaught of Kolchak and Yudenich 
and have almost put an end to Denikin. 

The troops of the landowners and capitalists who wanted, 
with the aid of the capitalists of the whole world, to 
re-establish their rule in Russia have been routed. 

The imperialist war and then the war against counter- 
revolution, however, have laid waste to and ruined the entire 

We must bend all efforts to conquer the chaos, to restore 
industry and agriculture, and to give the peasants the goods 
they need in exchange for grain. 

Now that we have defeated the landowners and liberated 
Siberia, the Ukraine, and the North Caucasus, we have every 
opportunity of restoring the country's economy. 

We have a lot of grain, and we now have coal and oil. 
We are being held up by transport. The railways are out of 
action. Transport must be rehabilitated. Then we can bring 
grain, coal and oil to the factories, then we can deliver 
salt, then we shall begin to restore industry and put an end 
to the hunger of the factory and railway workers. 

Let all workers and peasants set about rehabilitating 
the railways, let them set about the work with persistence 
and enthusiasm. 

All the work necessary for the restoration of transport 
must be carried out with the greatest zeal, with revolution- 
ary fervour, with unreserved loyalty. 



We have been victorious on the front of the bloody war. 
We shall be victorious on the bloodless front, on the 
labour front. 

All out for work to restore transport! 

Recorded at the end of 
March 1920 

First published in Pravda No. 18, Published according to 

January 21, 1928 the gramophone record 





Why was it we defeated Yudenich, Kolchak and Denikin 
although the capitalists of all the world helped them? 

Why are we confident that we shall now defeat the eco- 
nomic chaos and rehabilitate industry and agriculture? 

We overthrew the landowners and capitalists because the 
men of the Red Army, workers and peasants, knew they were 
fighting for their own vital interests. 

We won because the best people from the entire working 
class and from the entire peasantry displayed unparalleled 
heroism in the war against the exploiters, performed miracles 
of valour, withstood untold privations, made great sacri- 
fices and got rid of scroungers and cowards. 

We are now confident that we shall conquer the chaos 
because the best people from the entire working class and 
from the entire peasantry are joining this struggle with the 
same political consciousness, the same firmness and the same 

When millions of working people unite as one and follow 
the best people from their class, victory is assured. 

We drove the scroungers out of the army. And now we 
say, "Down with the scroungers, down with those who think of 
their own advantage, of speculation and of shirking work, 
those who are afraid of the sacrifices necessary for victory!" 

Long live labour discipline, zeal in work and loyalty 
to the cause of the workers and peasants! 

Eternal glory to those who died in the front ranks of the 
Red Army! 



Eternal glory to those who are now leading millions of 
working people and who with the greatest zeal march in the 
front ranks of the army of labour! 

Recorded at the end of March 1920 

First published in Pravda 
No. 18, January 21, 1928 

Published according to 
the gramophone record 


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JlHHHan aHKeTa 

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2. * aejieraTCltoro 6»jeT» y--^ 

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OpiHHH, Ha KOTOpoS Bbi 6ufl« Ha6paHU Ha Ceai. _ 

7. Boapacr ,.. i -i i 

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9. Busman npo4>eccKX (yKaaan ancuHe onpeaejieHHo), hjih xikhc cneimaabRocTM anaeie. 

10. HauiiOHajibHOCTk 

11. rexeiiHoe noaoxeHxe 

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12. C aaaoro Bp«Menn cocrOHTe HJieHOM P. K. II. (roj, xecHU) ... 

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13. Hi ulxkx BccpoccHRcxtu napTHMHiix C'euax iu yiacnoiUH. 

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14. Kaayw napiHRHyu p»6»ry kcuoahum, xor» x rxe. 

- ^^u— qpc vjLJ.p ' *. 

First page 
the questionnaire filled 
by Lenin as delegate 
to the Ninth Congress 
of the R,C.P.(B.) 
March 29, 1920 



MARCH 29-APRIL 5, 1920 

Published in the book Published according to 

Ninth Congress of the Russian the book, verified with 

Communist Party. Verbatim Report. the shorthand notes 
Moscow, 1920 




First of all allow me on behalf of the Central Committee 
of the Russian Communist Party to greet the delegates who 
have assembled for the Party Congress. 

Comrades, we are opening this present Congress of the 
Party at a highly important moment. The internal develop- 
ment of our revolution has led to very big and rapid victories 
over the enemy in the Civil War, and, in view of the interna- 
tional situation, these victories, we find, are nothing more 
nor less than the victory of the Soviet revolution in the 
first country to make this revolution — a very weak and back- 
ward country — a victory over the combined forces of world 
capitalism and imperialism. And after these victories we may 
now proceed with calm and firm assurance to the immediate 
tasks of peaceful economic development, confident that the 
present Congress, having reviewed the experience of over two 
years of Soviet work, will be able to utilise the lesson gained 
in order to cope with the more difficult and complex task 
of economic development that now confronts us. From the 
international standpoint, our position has never been as 
favourable as it is now; and what fills us with particular 
joy and vigour is the news we are daily receiving from Ger- 
many, which shows that, however difficult and painful the 
birth of a socialist revolution may be, the proletarian Soviet 
power in Germany is spreading irresistibly. The part played 
by the German Kornilov-type putsch was similar to that of 
Kornilov revolt in Russia. After that a swing towards 
a workers' government began, not only among the masses of 
urban workers, but also among the rural proletariat of Ger- 



many. And this swing is of historic importance. Not only is it 
one more absolute confirmation of the correctness of the line, 
but it gives us the assurance that the time is not far off 
when we shall be marching hand in hand with a German 
Soviet government. (Applause.) 

I hereby open the Congress and request you to nominate 
a presidium. 





Comrades, before beginning my report I must say that, 
like the report at the preceding Congress, it is divided into 
two parts: political and organisational. This division first 
of all leads one to think of the way the work of the Central 
Committee has developed in its external aspect, the organi- 
sational aspect. Our Party has now been through its first 
year without Y. M. Sverdlov, and our loss was bound to 
tell on the whole organisation of the Central Committee. 
No one has been able to combine organisational and political 
work in one person so successfully as Comrade Sverdlov 
did and we have been obliged to attempt to replace his 
work by the work of a collegium. 

During the year under review the current daily work of 
the Central Committee has been conducted by the two collegi- 
ums elected by the plenary meeting of the Central Commit- 
tee — the Organising Bureau of the Central Committee and 
the Political Bureau of the Central Committee. In order to 
achieve co-ordination and consistency in the decisions of 
these two bodies, the Secretary was a member of both. In 
practice it has become the main and proper function of the 
Organising Bureau to distribute the forces of the Party, and 
that of the Political Bureau to deal with political questions. 
It goes without saying that this distinction is to a certain 
extent artificial; it is obvious that no policy can be carried 
out in practice without finding expression in appointments 
and transfers. Consequently, every organisational question 
assumes a political significance; and it has become the estab- 
lished practice for the request of a single member of the 



Central Committee to be sufficient to have any question, 
for one reason or another, examined as a political question. 
To have attempted to divide the functions of the Central 
Committee in any other way would hardly have been expe- 
dient and in practice would hardly have achieved its purpose. 

This method of conducting business has produced extreme- 
ly good results: no difficulties have arisen between the two 
bureaus on any occasion. The work of these bodies has on 
the whole proceeded harmoniously, and practical implemen- 
tation has been facilitated by the presence of the Secretary 
who acted, furthermore, solely and exclusively in pursuance 
of the will of the Central Committee. It must be emphasised 
from the very outset, so as to remove all misunderstanding, 
that only the corporate decisions of the Central Committee 
adopted in the Organising Bureau or the Political Bureau, 
or by a plenary meeting of the Central Committee — only 
these decisions were carried out by the Secretary of the 
Central Committee of the Party. The work of the Central 
Committee cannot otherwise proceed properly. 

After these brief remarks on the arrangement of work 
within the Central Committee, I shall get on with my job, 
which is the report of the Central Committee. To present a 
report on the political work of the Central Committee is a 
highly difficult task if understood literally. A large part 
of the work of the Political Bureau has this year consisted 
in making the current decision on the various questions of 
policy that have arisen, questions of co-ordinating the activ- 
ities of all the Soviet and Party institutions and all organ- 
isations of the working class, of co-ordinating and doing their 
utmost to direct the work of the entire Soviet Republic. The Po- 
litical Bureau adopted decisions on all questions of foreign and 
domestic policy. Naturally, to attempt to enumerate these 
questions, even approximately, would be impossible. You 
will find material for a general summary in the printed matter 
prepared by the Central Committee for this Congress. To 
attempt to repeat this summary in my report would be beyond 
my powers, and I do not think it would be interesting to the 
delegates. All of us who work in a Party or Soviet organisa- 
tion keep daily track of the extraordinary succession of 
political questions, both foreign and domestic. The way 
these questions have been decided, as expressed in the decrees 



of the Soviet government, and in the activities of the Party 
organisations, at every turn, is in itself an evaluation of 
the Central Committee of the Party. It must be said that 
the questions were so numerous that they frequently had to be 
decided under conditions of extreme haste, and it was only 
because the members of the body concerned were so well ac- 
quainted with each other, knew every shade of opinion and 
had confidence in each other, that this work could be done at 
all. Otherwise it would have been beyond the powers of a 
body even three times the size. When deciding complex ques- 
tions it frequently happened that meetings had to be replaced 
by telephone conversations. This was done in the full assur- 
ance that obviously complicated and disputed questions 
would not be overlooked. Now, when I am called upon to 
make a general report, instead of giving a chronological 
review and a grouping of subjects, I shall take the liberty 
of dwelling on the main and most essential points, such, 
moreover, as link up the experience of yesterday, or, more 
correctly, of the past year, with the tasks that now 
confront us. 

The time is not yet ripe for a history of Soviet govern- 
ment. And even if it were, I must say for myself — and 
I think for the Central Committee as well — that we have no 
intention of becoming historians. What interests us is the 
present and the future. We take the past year under review 
as material, as a lesson, as a stepping-stone, from which 
we must proceed further. Regarded from this point of view, 
the work of the Central Committee falls into two big catego- 
ries — work connected with war problems and those deter- 
mining the international position of the Republic, and 
work of internal, peace-time economic development, which 
only began to come to the fore at the end of the last year 
perhaps, or the beginning of this year, when it became 
quite clear that we had won a decisive victory on the deci- 
sive fronts of the Civil War. Last spring our military situa- 
tion was an extremely difficult one; as you remember, we 
were still to experience quite a number of defeats, of new, 
huge and unexpected offensives on the part of the counter- 
revolution and the Entente, none of which could have been 
anticipated by us. It was therefore only natural that the 
greater part of this period was devoted to the military 



problem, the problem of the Civil War, which seemed unsolv- 
able to all the faint-hearted, not to speak of the parties 
of the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries and other 
petty-bourgeois democrats, and to all the intermediate 
elements; this induced them to declare quite sincerely that 
the problem could not be solved, that Russia was backward 
and enfeebled and could not vanquish the capitalist system 
of the entire world, seeing that the revolution in the West 
had been delayed. And we therefore had to maintain our 
position and to declare with absolute firmness and convic- 
tion that we would win, we had to implement the slogans 
"Everything for victory!" and "Everything for the war!" 

To carry out these slogans it was necessary to deliberately 
and openly leave some of the most essential needs unsat- 
isfied, and time and again to deny assistance to many, in 
the conviction that all forces had to be concentrated on the 
war, and that we had to win the war which the Entente had 
forced upon us. It was only because of the Party's vigilance 
and its strict discipline, because the authority of the Party 
united all government departments and institutions, because 
the slogans issued by the Central Committee were adopted 
by tens, hundreds, thousands and finally millions of people 
as one man, because incredible sacrifices were made — it 
was only because of all this that the miracle which occurred 
was made possible. It was only because of all this that we 
were able to win in spite of the campaigns of the imperial- 
ists of the Entente and of the whole world having been 
repeated twice, thrice and even four times. And, of course, 
we not only stress this aspect of the matter; we must also 
bear in mind that it teaches us that without discipline and 
centralisation we would never have accomplished this task. 
The incredible sacrifices that we have made in order to save 
the country from counter-revolution and in order to ensure 
the victory of the Russian revolution over Denikin, Yude- 
nich and Kolchak are a guarantee of the world social revo- 
lution. To achieve this, we had to have Party discipline, 
the strictest centralisation and the absolute certainty that 
the untold sacrifices of tens and hundreds of thousands of 
people would help us to accomplish all these tasks, and that 
it really could be done, could be accomplished. And for this 
purpose it was essential that our Party and the class which 



is exercising the dictatorship, the working class, should 
serve as elements uniting millions upon millions of working 
people in Russia and all over the world. 

If we give some thought to what, after all, was the under- 
lying reason for this historical miracle, why a weak, 
exhausted and backward country was able to defeat the most 
powerful countries in the world, we shall find that it was 
centralisation, discipline and unparalleled self-sacrifice. 
On what basis? Millions of working people in a country that 
was anything but educated could achieve this organisation, 
discipline and centralisation only because the workers had 
passed through the school of capitalism and had been united 
by capitalism, because the proletariat in all the advanced 
countries has united — and united the more, the more ad- 
vanced the country; and on the other hand, because property, 
capitalist property, small property under commodity pro- 
duction, disunites. Property disunites, whereas we are unit- 
ing, and increasingly uniting, millions of working people 
all over the world. This is now clear even to the blind, one 
might say, or at least to those who will not see. Our enemies 
grew more and more disunited as time went on. They were 
disunited by capitalist property, by private property under 
commodity production, whether they were small proprie- 
tors who profiteered by selling surplus grain at exorbitant 
prices and enriched themselves at the expense of the starving 
workers, or the capitalists of the various countries, even 
though they possessed military might and were creating 
a League of Nations, a "great united league" of all the fore- 
most nations of the world. Unity of this kind is a sheer 
fiction, a sheer fraud, a sheer lie. And we have seen — and 
this was a great example — that this notorious League of 
Nations, which attempted to hand out mandates for the gov- 
ernment of states, to divide up the world — that this noto- 
rious alliance proved to be a soap-bubble which at once 
burst, because it was an alliance founded on capitalist 
property. We have seen this on a vast historical scale, and 
it confirms that fundamental truth which told us that our 
cause was just, that the victory of the October Revolution 
was absolutely certain, and that the cause we were embark- 
ing on was one to which, despite all difficulties and obsta- 
cles, millions and millions of working people in all countries 



would rally. We knew that we had allies, that it was 
only necessary for the one country to which history had 
presented this honourable and most difficult task to display 
a spirit of self-sacrifice, for these incredible sacrifices to be 
repaid a hundredfold — every month we held out in our 
country would win us millions and millions of allies in all 
countries of the world. 

If, after all, we give some thought to the reason we 
were able to win, were bound to win, we shall find that it 
was only because all our enemies — who were formally tied 
by all sorts of bonds to the most powerful governments and 
capitalists in the world — however united they may have 
been formally, actually turned out to be disunited. Their 
internal bond in fact disunited them, pitted them against 
each other. Capitalist property disintegrated them, trans- 
formed them from allies into savage beasts, so that they 
failed to see that Soviet Russia was increasing the number 
of her followers among the British soldiers who had been 
landed in Archangel, among the French sailors in Sevasto- 
pol, among the workers of all countries, of all the advanced 
countries without exception, where the social-compromisers 
took the side of capital. In the final analysis this was the 
fundamental reason, the underlying reason, that made our 
victory certain and which is still the chief, insuperable and 
inexhaustible source of our strength; and it permits us to 
affirm that when we in our country achieve the dictatorship 
of the proletariat in full measure, and the maximum unity 
of its forces, through its vanguard, its advanced party, we 
may expect the world revolution. And this in fact is an ex- 
pression of will, an expression of the proletarian determina- 
tion to fight; it is an expression of the proletarian determi- 
nation to achieve an alliance of millions upon millions of 
workers of all countries. 

The bourgeoisie and the pseudo-socialist gentry of the 
Second International have declared this to be mere propa- 
gandist talk. But it is not, it is historical reality, borne 
out by the bloody and painful experience of the Civil War 
in Russia. For this Civil War was a war against world capital; 
and world capital disintegrated of itself, devoured itself, 
amidst strife, whereas we, in a country where the prole- 
tariat was perishing from hunger and typhus, emerged more 



hardened and stronger than ever. In this country we won the 
support of increasing numbers of working people. What the 
compromisers formerly regarded as propagandist talk and the 
bourgeoisie were accustomed to sneer at, has been transformed 
in these years of our revolution, and particularly in the 
year under review, into an absolute and indisputable histor- 
ical fact, which enables us to say with the most positive 
conviction that our having accomplished this is evidence 
that we possess a world-wide basis, immeasurably wider 
than was the case in any previous revolution. We have an 
international alliance, an alliance which has nowhere been 
registered, which has never been given formal embodiment, 
which from the point of view of "constitutional law" means 
nothing, but which, in the disintegrating capitalist world, 
actually means everything. Every month that we gained 
positions, or merely held out against an incredibly powerful 
enemy, proved to the whole world that we were right and 
brought us millions of new supporters. 

This process has been a difficult one; it has been accom- 
panied by tremendous defeats. In this ver y ye ar under re- 
view the monstrous White terror in Finlancbi-Llwas followed 
by the defeat of the Hungarian revolution, which was stifled 
by the governments of the Entente countries that deceived 
their parliaments and concluded a secret treaty with Rumania. 

It was the vilest piece of treachery, this conspiracy of 
the international Entente to crush the Hungarian revolu- 
tion by means of a White terror, not to mention the fact that 
in order to strangle the German revolution they were re ady 
for any understanding with the German compromisersp^l 
and that these people, who had declared Liebknecht to be 
an honest German, pounced on this honest German like mad 
dogs together with the German imperialists. They exceeded 
all conceivable bounds; but every such act of suppression 
on their part only strengthened and consolidated us, while 
it undermined them. 

And it seems to me that we must first and foremost draw 
a lesson from this fundamental experience. Here we must 
make a special point of basing our agitation and propaganda 
on an analysis, an explanation of why we were victorious, 
why the sacrifices made in the Civil War have been repaid a 
hundredfold, and how we must act, on the basis of this 



experience, in order to succeed in another war, a war on a 
bloodless front, a war which has only changed its form, but 
which is being waged against us by those same representa- 
tives, lackeys and leaders of the old capitalist world, only 
still more vigorously, still more furiously, still more zeal- 
ously. More than any other, our revolution has proved the 
rule that the strength of a revolution, the vigour of its assault, 
its energy, determination, its victory and its triumph inten- 
sify the resistance of the bourgeoisie. The more victorious 
we are the more the capitalist exploiters learn to unite 
and the more determined their onslaught. For, as you all 
distinctly remember — it was not so long ago when judged by 
the passage of time, but a long time ago when judged by the 
march of events — at the beginning of the October Revolu- 
tion Bolshevism was regarded as a freak; this view, which 
was a reflection of the feeble development and weakness of 
the proletarian revolution, very soon had to be abandoned in 
Russia and has now been abandoned in Europe as well. 
Bolshevism has become a world-wide phenomenon, the work- 
ers' revolution has raised its head. The Soviet system, in 
creating which in October we followed the traditions of 
1905, developing our own experience — this Soviet system 
has become a phenomenon of world-historic importance. 

Two camps are now quite consciously facing each other 
all over the world; this may be said without the slightest 
exaggeration. It should be noted that only this year have 
they become locked in a decisive and final struggle. And 
now, at the time of this very Congress, we are passing through 
what is perhaps one of the greatest, most acute but not yet 
completed periods of transition from war to peace. 

You all know what happened to the leaders of the impe- 
rialist powers of the Entente who loudly announced to the 
whole world: "We shall never stop fighting those usurpers, 
those bandits, those arrogators of power, those enemies 
of democracy, those Bolsheviks" — you know that first they 
lifted the blockade, that their attempt to unite the small 
states failed, because we succeeded in winning over not only 
the workers of all countries, but also the bourgeoisie of the 
small countries, for the imperialists oppress not only the 
workers of their own countries but the bourgeoisie of the 
small states as well. You know that we won over the vacil- 



lating bourgeoisie in the advanced countries. And the pres- 
ent position is that the Entente is breaking its former prom- 
ises and assurances and is violating the treaties which, 
incidentally, it concluded dozens of times with various 
Russian whiteguards. And now, as far as these treaties are 
concerned, the Entente is the loser, for it squandered hun- 
dreds of millions on them but failed to complete the job. 

It has now lifted the blockade and has virtually begun 
peace negotiations with the Soviet Republic. But it is not 
completing these negotiations, and therefore the small 
states have lost faith in it and in its might. So we see that 
the position of the Entente, its position in foreign affairs, 
defies all definition from the standpoint of the customary 
concepts of law. The states of the Entente are neither at 
peace with the Bolsheviks nor at war with them; they have 
recognised us and they have not recognised us. And this 
utter confusion among our opponents, who were so convinced 
that they represented something, proves that they represent 
nothing but a pack of capitalist beasts who have fallen out 
among themselves and are absolutely incapable of doing us 
any harm. 

The po sitio n today is that Latvia has officially made peace 
proposaliiiil to us. Finland has sent a telegram which 
officially speaks of a demarcation line but actually implies 
a swing to a policy of peacelilSJ Lastly, Poland, the Poland 
whose representatives have been, and still are, sabre-rattling 
so vigorously, the Poland that has been, and still is, receiving 
so many trainloads of artillery and promises of help in 
everything, if only she would continue the war with Russia — 
even Poland, the unstable position of whose government 
compels her to consent to any military gamble, has invited 
us to begin negotiations for peaceUHJWe must be extremely 
cautious. Our policy demands the most careful thought. Here 
it is hardest of all to find the proper policy, for nobody as 
yet knows on what track the train is standing; the enemy 
himself does not know what he is going to do next. The 
gentlemen who represent French policy and who are most 
zealous in egging Poland on, and the leaders of landowner 
and bourgeois Poland do not know what will happen next; 
they do not know what they want. Today they say, "Gen- 
tlemen, let us have a few trainloads of guns and a few hundred 



millions and we are prepared to fight the Bolsheviks." They 
are hushing up the news of the strikes that are spreading 
in Poland; they are tightening up the censorship so as to 
conceal the truth. But the revolutionary movement in 
Poland is growing. The spread of revolution in Germany, in 
its new phase, in its new stage, now that the workers, after 
the German Kornilov-type putsch, are creating Red Armies, 
plainly shows (as can be seen from the recent dispatches from 
Germany) that the temper of the workers is rising more and 
more. The Polish bourgeoisie and landowners are themselves 
beginning to wonder whether it is not too late, whether there 
will not be a Soviet Republic in Poland before the govern- 
ment acts either for war or for peace. They do not know what 
to do. They do not know what the morrow will bring. 

But we know that our forces are growing vastly every 
month, and will grow even more in future. The result is that 
our international position is now more stable than ever. 
But we must watch the international crisis with extreme care 
and be prepared for any eventuality. We have received a 
formal offer of peace from Poland. These gentlemen are in 
desperate straits, so desperate that their friends, the German 
monarchists, people with better training and more political 
experience and knowledge, plunged into a venturous gamble, 
a Kornilov-type putsch. The Polish bourgeoisie are throw- 
ing out offers of peace because they know that any ventur- 
ous gamble may prove to be a Polish Kornilov-type affair. 
Knowing that our enemy is in desperate straits, that our 
enemy does not know what he wants to do or what he will 
do tomorrow, we must tell ourselves quite definitely that in 
spite of the peace overtures war is possible. It is impossible 
to foretell what their future conduct will be. We have seen 
these people before, we know these Kerenskys, these Men- 
sheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries. During the past two 
years we have seen them one day drawn towards Kolchak, 
the next day almost towards the Bolsheviks, and then to- 
wards Denikin — and all this camouflaged by talk about 
freedom and democracy. We know these gentlemen, and 
therefore we grasp at the proposal of peace with both hands 
and are prepared to make the maximum concessions, in the 
conviction that the conclusion of peace with the small states 
will further our cause infinitely more than war. For the 



imperialists used war to deceive the working masses, they used 
it to conceal the truth about Soviet Russia. Any peace, 
therefore, will open channels for our influence a hundred 
times wider, which, as it is, has grown considerably in these 
past few years. The Third, Communist International has 
achieved unparalleled successes. But at the same time we 
know that war may be forced upon us any day. Our enemies 
do not themselves know as yet what they are capable of 
doing in this respect. 

That war preparations are under way, of that there is 
not the slightest doubt. Many of the states bordering on 
Russia — and perhaps many of those not bordering on Russia — 
are now arming. That is why we must manoeuvre so flexibly 
in our international policy and adhere so firmly to the 
course we have taken, that is why we must be prepared for 
anything. We have waged the war for peace with extreme 
vigour. This war is yielding splendid results. We have made 
a very good showing in this sphere of the struggle, at any 
rate, not inferior to the showing made by the Red Army 
on the front where blood is being shed. But the conclusion 
of peace with us does not depend on the will of the small 
states even if they desire it. They are up to their ears in 
debt to the countries of the Entente, who are wrangling 
and competing desperately among themselves. We must 
therefore remember that peace is of course possible from the 
point of view of the world situation, the historical situation 
created by the Civil War and by the war against the Entente. 

But the measures we take for peace must be accompanied 
by intensified preparedness for defence, and in no case must 
our army be disarmed. Our army offers a real guarantee that 
the imperialist powers will not make the slightest attempt 
or encroachment on us; for although they might count on 
certain ephemeral successes at first, not one of them would 
escape defeat at the hands of Soviet Russia. That we must 
realise, that must be made the basis of our agitation and 
propaganda, that is what we must prepare for, in order to 
solve the problem which, in view of our growing fatigue, 
compels us to combine the one with the other. 

I now pass to those important considerations of prin- 
ciple which induced us to direct the working masses so 
resolutely along the lines of using the army for the solution 



of certain basic and immediate problems. The old source 
of discipline, capital, has been weakened, the old source of 
unity has disappeared. We must create a different kind of 
discipline, a different source of discipline and unity. Coer- 
cion evokes the indignation, the howls, the yells and out- 
cries of the bourgeois democrats, who make great play of the 
words "freedom" and "equality", but do not understand that 
freedom for capital is a crime against the working people, 
that equality between the rich and the destitute is a crime 
against the working people. In our fight against falsehood, we 
introduced labour conscription and proceeded to unite the 
working people, not hesitating to use coercion. For no 
revolution has ever been effected without coercion, and the 
proletariat has a right to exercise coercion in order to hold 
its own at all costs. When those gentry, the bourgeois, 
the compromisers, the German Independents, the Austrian 
Independents, and the French Longuetists, argued about the 
historical factor, they always forgot such a factor as the 
revolutionary determination, firmness and steadfastness of 
the proletariat. And that factor is precisely the steadfast- 
ness and firmness of the proletariat of our country, which 
declares, and has proved by its deeds, that we are prepared 
to perish to a man rather than yield our territory, rather 
than yield our principle, the principle of discipline and 
firm policy, for the sake of which everything else must 
be sacrificed. At the time when the capitalist countries and 
the capitalist class are disintegrating, at this moment of 
crisis and despair, this political factor is the only decisive 
one. Talk about minority and majority, about democracy 
and freedom decides nothing, however much the heroes of a 
past historical period may invoke them. It is the class-con- 
sciousness and firmness of the working class that count here. 
If the working class is prepared to make sacrifices, if it 
shows that it is able to strain every nerve, the problem 
will be solved. Everything must be directed to the solution 
of this problem. The determination of the working class, 
its inflexible adherence to the watchword "Death rather than 
surrender!" is not only a historical factor, it is the decisive, 
the winning factor. 

We are now going over from this victory and this convic- 
tion to problems of peaceful economic development, the 



solution of which is the chief function of our Congress. In this 
respect we cannot, in my opinion, speak of a report of the 
Political Bureau of the Central Committee, or, rather, of 
a political report of the Central Committee. We must say 
frankly and bluntly that this, comrades, is a question which 
you must decide, which you must weigh with all your au- 
thority as the supreme Party body. We have laid the question 
before you quite clearly. We have taken up a definite stand. 
It is your duty finally to endorse, correct or amend our de- 
cision. But in its report the Central Committee must say that 
on this fundamental and urgent question it has adopted an 
absolutely definite stand. Yes, the thing now is to apply to 
the peaceful work of economic development, to the restora- 
tion of our shattered industry, everything that can weld 
the proletariat into an absolute unity. Here we need the iron 
discipline, the iron system, without which we could not 
have held on for two months, let alone over two years. We 
must be able to utilise our success. On the other hand, it 
must be realised that this transition will demand many 
sacrifices, of which the country has already made so many. 

On the principle involved the Central Committee was 
quite clear. Our activities were entirely governed by this 
policy and conducted in this spirit. Take, for example, the 
question of corporate management versus individual manage- 
ment, which you will have to settle — a question which may 
appear to be a subsidiary one, and which in itself, if torn 
from its context, cannot of course claim to be a fundamental 
question of principle. This question should be examined 
only from the point of view of our basic knowledge, experi- 
ence and revolutionary practice. For instance, we are told 
that "corporate management is one of the forms in which the 
masses participate in the work of administration". But we 
on the Central Committee discussed this question and took 
our decision, which we have to report to you — comrades, such 
theoretical confusion cannot be tolerated. Had we permitted 
a tenth part of this theoretical confusion in the fundamental 
question of our military activities, of our Civil War, we 
would have been beaten, and would have deserved to be 

Permit me, comrades, in connection with the report of the 
Central Committee and with this question of whether the 



new class should participate in the work of administration 
on a corporate or an individual basis, to introduce a little bit 
of theory, to point out how a class governs and what class 
domination actually is. After all, we are not novices in these 
matters, and what distinguishes our revolution from former 
revolutions is that there is nothing Utopian about it. The 
new class, having replaced the old class, can maintain itself 
only by a desperate struggle against other classes; and it 
will finally triumph only if it can bring about the abolition 
of classes in general. That is what the vast and complex 
process of the class struggle demands; otherwise you will 
sink into a morass of confusion. What is class domination? 
In what way did the bourgeoisie dominate over the feudal 
lords? The Constitution spoke of freedom and equality. That 
was a lie. As long as there are working men, property- 
owners are in a position to profiteer, and indeed, as property- 
owners, are compelled to profiteer. We declare that there is 
no equality, that the well-fed man is not the equal of the 
hungry man, that the profiteer is not the equal of the work- 
ing man. 

How is class domination expressed today? The domination 
of the proletariat consists in the fact that the landowners 
and capitalists have been deprived of their property. The 
spirit and basic idea of all previous constitutions, even the 
most republican and democratic, amounted to one thing — 
property. Our Constitution has the right, has won itself 
the right, to a place in history by virtue of the fact that 
the abolition of property is not confined to a paper declara- 
tion. The victorious proletariat has abolished property, 
has completely annulled it — and therein lies its domination 
as a class. The prime thing is the question of property. As 
soon as the question of property was settled practically, 
the domination of the class was assured. When, after that, 
the Constitution recorded on paper what had been actually 
effected, namely, the abolition of capitalist and landed prop- 
erty, and added that under the Constitution the working 
class enjoys more rights than the peasantry, while exploit- 
ers have no rights whatever — that was a record of the fact 
that we had established the domination of our class, thereby 
binding to ourselves all sections and all small groups of 
working people. 



The petty-bourgeois property-owners are disunited; those 
who have more property are the enemies of those who have 
less property; and the proletarians, by abolishing property, 
have declared open war on them. There are still many unen- 
lightened and ignorant people who are wholly in favour of 
any kind of freedom of trade, but who cannot fight when 
they see the discipline and self-sacrifice displayed in securing 
victory over the exploiters; they are not with us, but are 
powerless to come out against us. It is only the domination 
of a class that determines property relations and which class 
is to be on top. Those who, as we so frequently observe, 
associate the question of the nature of class domination 
with the question of democratic centralism create such 
confusion that all successful work on this basis becomes 
impossible. Clarity in propaganda and agitation is a funda- 
mental condition. When our enemies said and admitted 
that we had performed miracles in developing agitation and 
propaganda, that was not to be understood in the superfi- 
cial sense that we had large numbers of agitators and used up 
large quantities of paper, but in the intrinsic sense that the 
truth contained in that propaganda penetrated to the minds 
of all; there is no escaping from that truth. 

Whenever classes displaced each other, they changed 
property relations. When the bourgeoisie superseded the 
feudals, it changed property relations; the Constitution of 
the bourgeoisie says: "The man of property is the equal of 
the beggar." That was bourgeois freedom. This kind of 
"equality" ensured the domination of the capitalist class in 
the state. But do you think that when the bourgeoisie super- 
seded the feudals they confused the state with the adminis- 
tration? No, they were no such fools. They declared that the 
work of administration required people who knew how to 
administer, and that they would adapt feudal administrators 
for that purpose. And that is what they did. Was it a mistake? 
No, comrades, the art of administration does not descend 
from heaven, it is not inspired by the Holy Ghost. And 
the fact that a class is the leading class does not make it 
at once capable of administering. We have an example of 
this: while the bourgeoisie were establishing their victory they 
took for the work of administration members of another class, 
the feudal class; there was nowhere else to get them from. 



We must be sober and face the facts. The bourgeoisie had 
recourse to the old class; and we, too, are now confronted 
with the task of taking the knowledge and training of the 
old class, subordinating it to our needs, and using it all for 
the success of our class. We, therefore, say that the victo- 
rious class must be mature, and maturity is attested not by 
a document or certificate, but by experience and practice. 

When the bourgeoisie triumphed, they did not know how to 
administer; and they made sure of their victory by proclaiming 
a new constitution and by recruiting, enlisting administrators 
from their own class and training them, utilising for this pur- 
pose administrators of the old class. They began to train their 
own new administrators, fitting them for the work with the help 
of the whole machinery of state; they sequestrated the feudal 
institutions and admitted only the wealthy to the schools; 
and in this way, in the course of many years and decades, 
they trained administrators from their own class. Today, in 
a state which is constructed on the pattern and in the image 
of the dominant class, we must act as every state has acted. 
If we do not want to be guilty of sheer utopianism and 
meaningless phrase-mongering, we must say that we must 
take into account the experience of the past; that we must 
safeguard the Constitution won by the revolution, but that 
for the work of administration, of organising the state, we 
need people who are versed in the art of administration, who 
have state and business experience, and that there is nowhere 
we can turn to for such people except the old class. 

Opinions on corporate management are all too frequently 
imbued with a spirit of sheer ignorance, a spirit of opposi- 
tion to the specialists. We shall never succeed with such 
a spirit. In order to succeed we must understand the history 
of the old bourgeois world in all its profundity; and in order 
to build communism we must take technology and science 
and make them available to wider circles. And we can take 
them only from the bourgeoisie — there is nowhere else to get 
them from. Prominence must be given to this fundamental 
question, it must be treated as one of the basic problems of 
economic development. We have to administer with the help 
of people belonging to the class we have overthrown; they 
are imbued with the prejudices of their class and we must 
re-educate them. At the same time we must recruit our own 



administrators from our own class. We must use the entire 
machinery of state to put the schools, adult education, 
and all practical training at the service of the proletarians, 
the factory workers and the labouring peasants, under the 
guidance of the Communists. 

That is the only way to get things going. After our two 
years' experience we cannot argue as though we were only 
just setting about the work of socialist construction. We 
committed follies enough in and around the Smolny period. 
That is nothing to be ashamed of. How were we to know, 
seeing that we were undertaking something absolutely new? 
We first tried one way, then another. We swam with the 
current, because it was impossible to distinguish the right 
from the wrong; that requires time. Now that is all a matter 
of the recent past, which we have got beyond. That past, in 
which chaos and enthusiasm prevailed, is now over. One 
document from that past is the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. It is 
a historic document — more, it was a period of history. The 
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was forced upon us because we were 
helpless in every way. What sort of period was it? It was 
a period of impotence, from which we emerged victorious. 
It was a period in which corporate management was univer- 
sal. You cannot escape that historical fact by declaring that 
corporate management is a school of administration. You 
cannot stay for ever in the preparatory class of a school! 
(Applause.) That will not do. We are grown-up now, and we 
shall be beaten and beaten again in every field if we behave 
like schoolboys. We must push forward. We must push higher 
with energy and unanimity of will. Tremendous difficulties 
face the trade unions. We must get them to regard this task 
in the spirit of the fight against the survivals of the cele- 
brated democracy. All these outcries against appointees, all 
this old and dangerous rubbish which finds its way into vari- 
ous resolutions and conversations must be swept away. 
Otherwise we cannot succeed. If we have failed to master 
this lesson in these two years, we are lagging, and those who 
lag, get beaten. 

The task is an extremely difficult one. Our trade unions 
have been of tremendous assistance in building the proletar- 
ian state. They were a link between the Party and the unen- 
lightened millions. Let us not close our eyes to the fact 



that the trade unions bore the brunt of the struggle against 
all our troubles when the state needed help in food work. 
Was this not a tremendous task? The recent issue of the 
Bulletin of the Central Statistical Board contains summaries 
by statisticians who certainly cannot be suspected of Bol- 
shevism. Two interesting figures are given: in 1918 and 1919 
the workers in the consuming gubernias received seven poods 
a year, while the peasants in the producing gubernias con- 
sumed seventeen poods a year. Before the war they used to 
consume sixteen poods a year. There you have two figures 
illustrating the relation of classes in the struggle for food. 
The proletariat continued to make sacrifices. People shout 
about coercion! But the proletariat justified and legitima- 
tised coercion; it justified it by making the greatest sacri- 
fices. The majority of the population, the peasants of the 
producing gubernias of our starving and impoverished 
Russia, for the first time had more food than throughout the 
centuries of tsarist and capitalist Russia. And we say that 
the masses will go on starving until the Red Army is victo- 
rious. The vanguard of the working class had to make this 
sacrifice. This struggle is a school; but when we leave this 
school we must go forward. This step must now be taken at 
all costs. Like all trade unions, the old trade unions have a 
history and a past. In the past they were organs of resistance 
to those who oppressed labour, to capitalism. But now that 
their class has become the governing class, and is being called 
upon to make great sacrifices, to starve and to perish, the 
situation has changed. 

Not everybody understands this change, not everybody 
grasps its significance. And certain Mensheviks and Socialist- 
Revolutionaries who are demanding that corporate man- 
agement be substituted for individual management have 
helped us in this matter. No, comrades, that won't work. 
We have got beyond that. We are now faced with a very 
difficult task; having gained victory on the bloody front, 
we must now gain victory on the bloodless front. This war 
is a more difficult one. This front is the most arduous. We 
say this frankly to all class-conscious workers. The war which 
we have withstood at the front must be followed by a blood- 
less war. The fact is that the more we were victorious, the 
more regions we secured like Siberia, the Ukraine and the 



Kuban. In those regions there are rich peasants; there are 
no proletarians, and what proletariat there is, has been 
corrupted by petty-bourgeois habits. We know that every- 
body who has a piece of land in those parts says: "A fig for 
the government, I'll get all I can out of the starving. A fat lot 
I care for the government." The peasant profiteer who, when 
left to the tender mercies of Denikin, was swinging towards 
us will now be aided by the Entente. The war has changed its 
front and its forms. It is now taking the form of trade, of 
food profiteering, which it has made international. In Com- 
rade Kamenev's theses published in the Bulletin of the 
C.C., R.C.P.(B.) the underlying principles are stated 
fully. They want to make food profiteering international. 
They want to turn peaceful economic development into the 
peaceful disintegration of Soviet power. No you don't, my 
imperialist gentlemen! We are on our guard. We declare: 
we have fought and won, and we shall therefore retain as 
our basic slogan the one which helped us to victory; we 
shall fully preserve that slogan and apply it to the field of 
labour. That slogan is the firmness and unity of will of the 
proletariat. The old prejudices, the old habits that still 
remain, must be discarded. 

I should like in conclusion, to dwell on Comrade 
Gusev's pamphletLMiJ which in my opinion deserves attention 
for two reasons. It is a good pamphlet not only from the for- 
mal standpoint, not only because it has been written for 
our Congress. Somehow, up to now we have all been accus- 
tomed to writing resolutions. They say that all literature is 
good except tedious literature. Resolutions, I take it, should 
he classed as tedious literature. It would be better if we 
followed Comrade Gusev's example and wrote fewer reso- 
lutions and more pamphlets, even though they bristled with 
errors as his does. The pamphlet is good in spite of these 
errors, because it centres attention on a fundamental eco- 
nomic plan for the restoration of industry and production 
throughout the country, and because it subordinates every- 
thing to this fundamental economic plan. The Central 
Committee has introduced into the theses distributed 
today a whole paragraph taken entirely from Comrade 
Gusev's theses. This fundamental economic plan can be 
worked out in greater detail with the help of experts. We 



must remember that the plan is designed for many years to 
come. We do not promise to deliver the country from hunger 
all at once. We say that the struggle will be much harder 
than the one on the war front. But it is a struggle that 
interests us more; it brings us nearer to our immediate and 
main tasks. It demands that maximum exertion of effort and 
that unity of will which we have displayed before and must 
display now. If we accomplish this, we shall gain no 
less a victory on the bloodless front than on the front of 
civil war. (Applause.) 





Comrades, the part of the political report of the Central 
Committee which evoked chief attack was the one Comrade 
Sapronov called vituperation. Comrade Sapronov lent a very 
definite character and flavour to the position he defended; 
and in order to show you how matters actually stand, I 
would like to begin by reminding you of certain basic dates. 
Here I have before me Bulletin of the C.C., R.C.P.(B.) 
for March 2 in which we printed a letter from the Central 
Committee to R.C.P. organisations on the subject of the 
organisation of the Congress. And in this first letter we said: 
"Happily, the time for purely theoretical discussions, dis- 
putes over general questions and the adoption of resolutions 
on principles has passed. That stage is over; it was dealt 
with and settled yesterday and the day before yesterday. 
We must march ahead, and we must realise that we are now 
confronted by a practical task, the business task of rapidly 
overcoming economic chaos, and we must do it with all our 
strength, with truly revolutionary energy, and with the 
same devotion with which our finest worker and peasant 
comrades, the Red Army men, defeated Kolchak, Yudenich 
and Denikin." 

I must confess that I was guilty of optimism in thinking 
that the time of theoretical discussions had passed. We had 
theorised for fifteen years before the revolution, we had been 
administering the state for two years, and it was about time 
we displayed practical, business-like efficiency; and so, on 
March 2 we appealed to comrades with practical experience. 



In reply, Tomsky's theses were published in Ekonomiches- 
kaya Zhizn on March 10, the theses of Comrades Sapronov, 
Osinsky and Maximovsky on March 23, and on March 27 
the theses of the Moscow Gubernia Committee appeared — 
that is, all after our appeal to the Party. And in all the theses 
the question was treated wrongly from the theoretical stand- 
point. The view we expressed in the letter was optimistic, 
mistaken; it had seemed to us that this period had already 
passed, but the theses showed that it had not yet passed, and 
the comrades from the trade unions have no right to complain 
of having been treated unfairly. The question now is, which 
is right — our view, or the position advocated after our ap- 
peal of March 2 by all these theses? All of them contain a lot 
of practical material to which attention must be given. If the 
Central Committee did not give it serious attention, it would 
be an absolutely worthless institution. 

But listen to what Comrade Tomsky says. 

"§7. The basic structural principle of the regulation and management 
of industry, the only one that can ensure the participation of broad 
masses of non-party workers through the trade unions, is the existing 
principle of corporate management of industry, from the Presidium of 
the Supreme Economic Council down to the factory managements. Only 
in special cases, and by mutual agreement between the Presidiums of 
the Supreme Economic Council and the All-Russia Central Trade Union 
Council, or the Central Committees of the trade unions concerned, should 
one-man management be permitted in certain enterprises, but only 
on the obligatory condition that control be exercised over the adminis- 
trators by the trade unions and their bodies. 

"§8. To ensure a single plan of economic development and co-ordina- 
tion of the activities of the trade unions and the economic bodies, the 
participation of the trade unions in the management and regulation of 
industry should be based on the following principles: (a) general ques- 
tions of economic policy shall be discussed by the Supreme Economic 
Council and its organs with the participation of the trade unions; 
(b) the directing economic collegiums shall be formed by the Supreme 
Economic Council and its organs in conjunction with the relevant trade 
union bodies; (c) the collegiums of economic bodies, while discussing 
general questions of the economic policy of any branch of production 
in conjunction with the trade unions and furnishing them with period- 
ical reports on their activities, shall be regarded as organs of the Su- 
preme Economic Council only, and shall be obliged to carry out the de- 
cisions only of that body, (d) all collegiums of economic bodies shall 
unreservedly carry out the decisions of the higher organs of the Supreme 
Economic Council, individually and corporately, and be accountable 
for their fulfilment only to the Supreme Economic Council." 



Here the most elementary theoretical questions are ter- 
ribly muddled. 

It is true that management is the job of the individual 
administrator; but who exactly that administrator will 
be — an expert or a worker — will depend on how many admin- 
istrators we have of the old and the new type. That is ele- 
mentary theory. Well, then, let us talk about that. But if 
you want to discuss the political line of the Central Commit- 
tee, do not attribute to us things we did not suggest and 
did not say. On March 2 we appealed to the comrades to give 
us practical support, and what did we get in reply? From the 
comrades in the localities we got in reply things that are 
obviously wrong from the theoretical standpoint. The theses of 
Comrades Osinsky, Maximovsky and Sapronov that appeared 
on March 23 contain nothing but theoretical blunders. 
They say that corporate management in one form or another 
is an indispensable basis of democracy. I assert that you will 
find nothing like it in the fifteen years' pre-revolutionary 
history of the Social-Democratic movement. Democratic 
centralism means only that representatives from the localities 
get together and elect a responsible body, which is to do the 
administering. But how? That depends on how many suit- 
able people, how many good administrators are available. 
Democratic centralism means that the congress supervises 
the work of the Central Committee, and can remove 
it and appoint another in its place. But if we were to go 
into the theoretical errors contained in these theses, we 
should never be done. I personally will not deal with this 
any more, and will only say that the Central Committee 
adopted the only line that could be adopted on this question. 
I know very well that Comrade Osinsky, and the others do 
not share the views of Makhno and Makhaisky, but Makhno's 
followers are bound to seize upon their arguments. They are 
connected with them. Take the theses of the Moscow Guber- 
nia Committee of the Party that we have been given. It 
says there that in a developed socialist society, where there 
will be no social division of labour or fixed professions, the 
periodical replacement of people performing administrative 
functions in rotation will be possible only on the basis of 
a broad corporate principle, and so on and so forth. This 
is a sheer muddle! 



We appealed to the experienced people in the localities 
to help us with their practical advice. Instead, we are told 
that the Central Committee ignores the localities. What 
does it ignore? Dissertations on socialist society? There is 
not a trace of anything practical or business-like here. Of 
course, we have some splendid workers, who are borrowing 
a lot from the intelligentsia; but sometimes they borrow the 
worst, not the best. Then something has to be done about 
it. But if in reply to an appeal of the Central Committee for 
practical advice you bring up questions of principle, we have 
to talk about those questions. We have to say that errors 
of principle must be combated. And the theses published 
since March 2 contain preposterous errors of principle. 

That is what I affirm. Well, let us talk about that and 
argue it out. Don't try to evade it! It is no use claiming that 
you are not theoreticians. Pardon me, Comrade Sapronov, 
your theses are the theses of a theoretician. You would see if 
they were put into practice that you would have to turn 
back and settle questions in an unbusiness-like manner. 
Anybody who tried to take the theses of Comrades Maximov- 
sky, Sapronov and Tomsky as practical guidance, would be 
profoundly mistaken; they are fundamentally wrong. I consider 
that their idea of the attitude of the class to the structure of 
the state is fundamentally wrong and would drag us back. 
Naturally, it is backed by all the elements who are lagging 
behind and have not yet got beyond all this. And the au- 
thors of these theses are to be blamed not for deliberately 
advocating inefficiency, but for their theoretical mistake on 
the question the Central Committee asked them to discuss, 
a mistake which in a way provides a banner, a justification, 
for the worst elements. And why? From want of thought. 
Authentic documents prove this beyond all doubt. 

I now pass to the accusation made by Comrade Yurenev 
in connection with Comrade Shlyapnikov. If the Central 
Committee had removed Comrade Shlyapnikov, as a repre- 
sentative of the opposition, just before the Congress, that 
certainly would have been infamous. When we had estab- 
lished that Comrade Shlyapnikov was leaving, we said in the 
Political Bureau that we were not giving him any instruc- 
tions before his departure; and on the eve of his departure 
Comrade Shlyapnikov came to me and said that he was not 



going on the instructions of the Central Committee. And so 
Comrade Yurenev simply heard a rumour and is now spreading 
it. {Yurenev: "Shlyapnikov told me so himself....") 

I do not know how he could have told you so himself, 
seeing that he came to me before he left and said that he 
was not going on the instructions of the Central Committee. 
Yes, of course, if the Central Committee had banished the 
opposition before the Congress that would have been an un- 
pardonable thing. But, in general, when there is talk about 
banishing people, I say: "Well, then, just try to elect a 
Central Committee which could distribute forces properly 
without giving any cause for complaint." How can forces be 
distributed so that everybody is satisfied? If forces are not 
distributed, how can you talk about centralism? And if 
there were distortions of principles, let us have instances. If 
you say that we banished representatives of the opposition, 
give us an instance, and we shall examine it, for there may 
have been mistakes. Perhaps Comrade Yurenev, who com- 
plained to the Political Bureau of having been wrongfully 
withdrawn from the Western Front — perhaps he was ban- 
ished? The Political Bureau examined the matter and found 
it correct. And whatever Central Committee you elected, 
it would have to distribute its forces. 

Further, as regards the division of business between the 
Organising Bureau and the Political Bureau. Comrade Maxi- 
movsky is more experienced in matters of organisation than 
I am, and he says that Lenin is mixing Organising Bureau 
and Political Bureau questions. Well, let us see. In our 
opinion, the Organising Bureau should distribute forces and 
the Political Bureau deal with policy. If such a division 
is wrong, how are the functions of these two bodies to be 
divided? Do you want us to write a constitution? It is 
difficult to draw a hard and fast line between the Political 
Bureau and the Organising Bureau, to delimit their functions 
precisely. Any question may become a political one, even 
the appointment of the superintendent of a building. If 
anyone has any other solution to suggest, please let us have 
it. Comrades Sapronov, Maximovsky and Yurenev, let us 
have your proposals; just try to divide, to delimit the Organ- 
ising Bureau and the Political Bureau. As we have it, the 
protest of a single member of the Central Committee is 



enough for us to treat the question as a political one. Yet in 
all this time there has not been a single protest. Independence 
is not hampered in any way: any member of the Central 
Committee may declare a question to be a political one. And 
anybody who has any practical experience in organisation, 
even if he is not as competent as Comrade Maximovsky, 
even if he has worked in this field only six months, ought 
to have made a different sort of criticism from the one Com- 
rade Maximovsky made. Let the critics make definite recom- 
mendations. We shall accept them, and advise the election 
of a new Central Committee, which will carry out these rec- 
ommendations. But all we have had is abstract criticism 
and false assertions. 

Let us suppose you keep the Organising Bureau away from 
political leadership. What, then, I ask, will political lead- 
ership amount to? Who does the leading, if not people? And 
how can you lead except by distributing forces? How can 
you compel a man to carry out instructions if he is incom- 
petent? He is given certain instructions, his work is checked, 
and finally he is put on another job. What more must we do 
to bring this home to Comrades Maximovsky, Sapronov 
and Osinsky, who in their theses propose a theoretical amend- 
ment that was rejected long ago? What they are doing in 
practice is even worse, and they are making it quite clear 
that they have no material for serious criticism. 

I heard one practical point in Comrade Sapronov's speech 
and jumped at it. Comrade Sapronov said: "The Seventh 
Congress of Soviets gave a ruling, and we are violating it; 
the decree on requisitioning flax is an infringement of the 
decision of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee." 
I cannot remember even a tenth of the decrees we pass. 
But I made inquiries in the Secretariat of the Council of 
People's Commissars about the regulations governing flax 
procurements. The decree was passed on February 10. And 
what has happened? There is not a comrade, whether on 
the Political Bureau or on the All-Russia Central Executive 
Committee, who is opposed to independent initiative. We 
have seen them all here on this platform. Comrades know that 
they can speak for themselves. Why did they not appeal 
against this decision? Let us have your complaints! There 
was no such complaint after February 10. After a long fight, 



we adopted this decision, which was proposed by Comrade 
Rykov and agreed to by Comrade Sereda and the People's 
Commissariat of Food. "You have made a mistake!" we are 
told. Perhaps we have. Correct us. Submit this question to the 
Political Bureau. That will be a formal decision. Let us 
have the minutes. If they show that we have violated a 
decision of the Congress, we ought to be put on trial. Where 
is the charge? On the one hand, they reproach us on account 
of Shlyapnikov; on the other, they say that the flax business 
was a violation of a decision. Be good enough to bring facts 
to show that we violated the decision. But you do not bring 
any facts. All your words are mere words: initiative, ap- 
pointments, and so on. Why then have centralism? Could we 
have held out for even two months if we had made no appoint- 
ments during this period, during these two years when in 
various places we passed from complete exhaustion and dis- 
ruption to victory again? Just because you are displeased 
with the recall of Comrade Shlyapnikov or Comrade Yurenev, 
you fling these words among the crowd, among the unenlight- 
ened masses. Comrade Lutovinov says that the question 
has not been settled. It will have to be settled. If two people's 
commissars differ in their opinion of Ivan Ivanovich, and 
one says that a question of policy is involved, what is to 
be done? What method do you propose? Do you think that 
it is only in the Presidium of the All-Russia Central Execu- 
tive Committee that tedious questions arise? Let me tell 
you that there is not a single institution where tedious 
questions do not arise, and we all have to deal with questions 
of Maria Ivanovna and Sidor Ivanovich. But you cannot 
say that no politics are involved here, for politics fill all 
minds. Comrade Lutovinov had — I do not know how to 
put it; I fear to offend Comrade Sapronov's delicate ear and 
I shrink from using a polemical expression — but he said that 
Comrade Krestinsky threatened to bring about a split. A 
meeting of the Bureau was held on the subject. We have the 
minutes of the Bureau, and I would ask all the Congress 
delegates to take these minutes and read them. We came to 
the conclusion that Comrade Krestinsky was hot-headed and 
that you, Comrade Lutovinov and Comrade Tomsky, had 
raised a very malodorous scandal. Perhaps we were wrong — 
then correct our decision; but it is preposterous to say what 



you said, without having read the documents and without 
mentioning that there was a special meeting and that the 
matter was investigated in the presence of Tomsky and Lu- 

There are two other points I still have to deal with. First, 
the appointment of Comrades Bukharin and Radek. It 
is said that we sent them to the All-Russia Central Trade 
Union Council as political commissars, and the attempt is 
being made here to represent this as a violation of independ- 
ence, as bureaucracy. Perhaps you know better theoreticians 
than Radek and Bukharin. Then by all means let us have 
them. Perhaps you know people better acquainted with 
the trade union movement. Let us have them. Do you mean 
to say that the Central Committee has no right to reinforce 
a trade union with people who have the best theoretical 
knowledge of the trade union movement, who are acquainted 
with the experience of the Germans, and who can counteract 
an incorrect line? A Central Committee which did not do 
that could not be a directing body. The more we are sur- 
rounded by peasants and Kuban Cossacks the more difficul- 
ties we have with the proletarian dictatorship. Therefore 
the line must be straightened out at all costs and made as 
hard as steel, and this is the line we recommend to the Party 

Comrade Bubnov told us here that he has close connections 
with the Ukraine and thereby betrayed the true character of 
his objections. He said that the Central Committee is 
responsible for the growing strength of the Borotba Party. 
This is a very complex and important issue, and I think in 
this important issue, which demanded manoeuvring, and 
very complex manoeuvring at that, we emerged victorious. 
When we said in the Central Committee that the maximum 
concessions should be made to the Borotbists, we were laughed 
at and told that we were not following a straight line. 
But you can fight in a straight line when the enemy's line 
is straight. But when the enemy moves in zigzags, and not 
in a straight line, we have to follow him and catch him at 
every turn. We promised the maximum concessions to the 
Borotbists, but on condition that they pursued a communist 
policy. In this way we showed that we are in no way intol- 
erant. And that these concessions were made quite rightly 



is shown by the fact that all the best elements among the 
Borotbists have now joined our Party. We have carried out 
a re-registration of this party, and instead of a revolt of the 
Borotbists, which seemed inevitable, we find that, thanks to 
the correct policy of the Central Committee, which was 
carried out so splendidly by Comrade Rakovsky, all the best 
elements among the Borotbists have joined our Party under 
our control and with our recognition, while all the rest have 
disappeared from the political scene. This victory was worth 
a couple of good tussles. So anybody who says that the Cen- 
tral Committee is guilty of strengthening the Borotbists does 
not understand the political line on the national question. 

I shall just touch on the speech of the last comrade, who 
said that everything in the programme about the trade unions 
should be deleted. There you have an example of hastiness. 
We don't do things so simply. We say that nothing should 
be deleted, that the question should be discussed in pam- 
phlets, articles in the press, and so on. The trade unions are 
heading for the time when they will take economic life, 
namely industry, into their hands. The talk about not admit- 
ting bourgeois specialists into the trade unions is a prejudice. 
The trade unions are educational bodies, and strict demands 
must be made on them. The Central Committee will not 
tolerate bad educators. Education is a long and difficult 
business. A decree is not enough here; patient and skilful 
handling is required. And that is what we are aiming at 
and will continue to aim at. It is a matter in which we must 
be cautious but firm. 





Comrades, first two brief remarks. Comrade Sapronov 
continued to accuse me of forgetfulness, but the question 
he raised he left unexplained. He continued to assure us that 
the flax requisitioning decree is a violation of the decision 
of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee. I maintain 
that you cannot hurl unsupported accusations, very serious 
accusations, at a Party Congress in that way. Of course, if 
the Council of People's Commissars has violated a decision 
of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee it should 
be put on trial. But how is it that from February 10 to this 
day no complaint has been received that this decree is 
a violation? All we get is an absolutely unsupported accusa- 
tion of the sort that are handed out easily enough, but such 
methods of fighting are not to be taken seriously. 

Comrade Milyutin says that there are practically no 
points of difference between us, and that therefore it looks 
as if Lenin opposes squabbling and himself provokes this 
squabble. But Comrade Milyutin is distorting things some- 
what, which he ought not to do. The first draft of the 
resolution, compiled by Comrade Trotsky, was then edited 
corporately in the Central Committee. We sent this draft 
to Comrades Milyutin and Rykov. They returned it with the 
statement that they would give battle on it. This is what 
actually happened. After we had developed agitation and 
obtained allies, they organised an all-round opposition at 
the Congress; and it was only when they saw that nothing 
would come of it that they began to say they were almost 
in agreement. That is so, of course; but you must carry it 



through to the end and admit that your agreement means 
that you failed completely after the opposition came 
forward here and tried to consolidate itself on the issue of 
corporate management. Only after Comrade Milyutin had 
spoken for fifteen minutes, and his time was up, did it 
occur to him that it would be well to put the matter on a 
practical footing. He was quite right there. But I am afraid 
it is too late: although Comrade Rykov has still to close the 
discussion, the opposition cannot be saved. If the advocates 
of corporate management had during the past two months 
practised what they preached, if they had given us even a 
single example — not by saying there is a certain director 
and an assistant, but by an inquiry promoting a detailed 
investigation of the problem, comparing corporate manage- 
ment with individual management as was decided by the 
Congress of Economic Councils and by the Central Commit- 
tee — we would have been much the wiser; at the Congress we 
would then have had something more than not very relevant 
discussions of principle, and the advocates of corporate man- 
agement might have furthered matters. Their position would 
have been a strong one if they could have produced even ten 
factories with similar conditions managed on the corporate 
principle and compared them in a practical manner with the 
state of affairs in factories with similar conditions, but man- 
aged on the individual principle. We could have allowed 
any speaker an hour for such a report, and he would have 
furthered matters considerably. We might perhaps have 
established practical gradations in this question of corporate 
management. But the whole point is that none of them, 
neither the Economic Council members nor the trade union- 
ists, who should have had practical data at their disposal, 
gave us anything, because they had nothing to give. They 
have nothing, absolutely nothing! 

Comrade Rykov objected here that I want to remake the 
French Revolution, that I deny that the bourgeoisie grew up 
within the feudal system. That is not what I said. What 
I said was that when the bourgeoisie replaced the feudal 
system they took the feudal lords and learned from them how 
to administer; and this in no way contradicts the fact that 
the bourgeoisie grew up within the feudal system. And as 
for my thesis that, after it has seized power, the working 



class begins to put its principles into effect, nobody, abso- 
lutely nobody, has refuted it. After it has seized power, the 
working class maintains it, preserves it and consolidates 
it as every other class does, namely, by a change of property 
relations and by a new constitution. That is my first and 
fundamental thesis; and it is incontrovertible. My second 
thesis that every new class learns from its predecessor and 
takes over administrators from the old class, is also an abso- 
lute truth. And, lastly, my third thesis is that the working 
class must increase the number of administrators from its 
own ranks, establish schools, and train executives on 
a nation-wide scale. These three theses are indisputable, and 
they fundamentally contradict the theses of the trade unions. 

At the meeting of the group, when we examined their 
theses, and when Comrade Bukharin and I were defeated 1 145 1 
I told Comrade Tomsky that article 7 in the theses is the 
result of complete theoretical confusion. It says: 

"The basic structural principle of the regulation and management of 
industry, the only one that can ensure the participation of broad masses 
of non-party workers through the trade unions, is the existing principle 
of corporate management of industry, from the Presidium of the Su- 
preme Economic Council down to the factory managements. Only in 
special cases, and by mutual agreement between the Presidiums of the 
Supreme Economic Council and the All-Russia Central Trade Union 
Council, or the Central Committees of the trade unions concerned 
should one-man management be permitted in certain enterprises 
but only on the obligatory condition that control be exercised 
over the administrators by the trade unions and their bodies." 

This is sheer nonsense, because everything — the role of 
the working class in winning state power, the interrelation 
of methods — everything is muddled! Such things cannot 
be tolerated. Such things drag us back theoretically. The 
same must be said of the democratic centralism of Comrades 
Sapronov, Maximovsky and Osinsky. Comrade Osinsky for- 
gets that when he comes forward and claims that I call 
democratic centralism nonsense. You cannot distort things 
in that way! What has the question of appointments, of 
endorsement by local organisations, got to do with it? You 
can have things endorsed by collegiums and you can also 
appoint collegiums. That has nothing to do with the case. 
They say that democratic centralism consists not only in the 



All-Russia Central Executive Committee ruling; but in 
the All-Russia Central Executive Committee ruling through 
the local organisations. What has corporate management or 
individual management got to do with it? 

Comrade Trotsky recalled his report made in 1918 and, 
reading the speech he then made, pointed out that at that 
time not only did we argue about fundamental questions but 
a definite decision was taken by the All-Russia Central Exec- 
utive Committee. I dug up my old pamphlet The Immediate 
Tasks of the Soviet Government, which I had completely 
forgotten, and find that the question of individual manage- 
ment was not only raised but even approved in the theses of 
the All-Russia Central Executive Committee. We work in 
such a way that we forget not only what we ourselves have 
written but even what has been decided by the All-Russia 
Central Executive Committee, and subsequently dig up 
these decisions. Here are some passages from this pamphlet. 

"Those who deliberately (although most of them probably 
do not realise it) promote petty-bourgeois laxity would like 
to see in this granting of 'unlimited' (i.e., dictatorial) 
powers to individuals a departure from the collegiate prin- 
ciple, from democracy and from the principles of Soviet 
government. Here and there, among Left Socialist-Revo- 
lutionaries, a positively hooligan agitation, i.e., agitation 
appealing to the base instincts and to the small proprie- 
tor's urge to 'grab all he can', has been developed against 
the dictatorship decree. ..lllll 

"Large-scale machine industry — which is precisely the 
material source, the productive source, the foundation of 
socialism — calls for absolute and strict unity of will, which 
directs the joint labours of hundreds, thousands and tens of 
thousands of people. The technical, economic and historical 
necessity of this is obvious, and all those who have thought 
about socialism have always regarded it as one of the condi- 
tions of socialism" ... this is the only way in which "strict 
unity of will can be ensured.... 

"But be that as it may, unquestioning subordination to 
a single will is absolutely necessary for the success of 
processes organised on the pattern of large-scale machine 
industry. On the railways it is twice and three times as 



"And our whole task, the task of the Communist Party 
(Bolsheviks), which is the class-conscious vehicle of the striv- 
ings of the exploited for emancipation, is to appreciate 
this change, to understand that it is necessary, to stand at 
the head of the exhausted people who are wearily seeking 
a way out and lead them along the true path, along the path 
of labour discipline, along the path of co-ordinating the task 
of arguing at mass meetings about the conditions of work with 
the task of unquestioningly obeying the will of the Soviet 
leader, of the dictator, during the work.... 

"It required precisely the October victory of the working 
people over the exploiters, it required a whole historical 
period in which the working people themselves could first 
of all discuss the new conditions of life and the new tasks, in 
order to make possible the durable transition to superior 
forms of labour discipline, to the conscious appreciation of 
the necessity for the dictatorship of the proletariat, to un- 
questioning obedience to the orders of individual represent- 
atives of the Soviet government during the work.... 

"We must learn to combine the 'public meeting' democracy 
of the working people — turbulent, surging, overflowing its 
banks like a spring nood with iron discipline while at 
work, with unquestioning obedience to the will of a single 
person, the Soviet leader, while at work." 

On April 29, 1918, the All-Russia Central Executive Com- 
mittee adopted a resolution fully endorsing the basic propo- 
sitions set forth in this report and instructed its Presidium 
to recast them as theses representing the principal tasks of 
the Soviet government. We are thus reiterating what was 
approved two years ago in an official resolution of the All- 
Russia Central Executive Committee! And we are now being 
dragged back on a matter that was decided long ago, a matter 
which the All-Russia Central Executive Committee endorsed 
and explained, namely, that Soviet socialist democracy and 
individual management and dictatorship are in no way 
contradictory, and that the will of a class may sometimes be 
carried out by a dictator, who sometimes does more alone 
and is frequently more necessary. At any rate, the attitude 
towards the principles of corporate management and indi- 
vidual management was not only explained long ago, but 
was even endorsed by the All-Russia Central Executive 



Committee. In this connection our Congress is an illustration 
of the sad truth that instead of advancing from the expla- 
nation of questions of principle to concrete questions, we 
are advancing backward. Unless we get away from this mis- 
take we shall never solve the economic problem. 

I should also like to say a few words about certain re- 
marks of Comrade Rykov's. He asserts that the Council of 
People's Commissars is putting obstacles in the way of the 
amalgamation of the commissariats running the economy. And 
when Comrade Rykov is told that he wants to swallow up 
Comrade Tsyurupa, he replies, "I don't care if it is Tsyurupa 
that swallows me up, as long as the economic commissariats 
are amalgamated." I know where this leads, and I must say 
that the attempt of the Supreme Economic Council to form a 
sort of separate bloc of the economic commissariats, separate 
from the Council of Defence and the Council of People's 
Commissars, did not pass unnoticed by the Central Com- 
mittee, and met with disfavour. The Council of Defence has 
now been renamed the Council of Labour and Defence. You 
want to separate yourselves from the Commissariat of the 
Army, which is giving its best forces to the war and is an 
institution without which you cannot even carry out labour 
conscription. And we cannot carry out labour conscription 
without the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs either. 
Take the post office; we cannot send a letter without the Com- 
missariat of Posts and Telegraphs. Take the People's Com- 
missariat of Health. How will you conduct the economy if 
seventy per cent are down with typhus? What it amounts to 
is that every matter must be co-ordinated and referred to 
an economic commissariat. Is not such a plan absolutely ab- 
surd? Comrade Rykov had no serious argument. That is 
why it was opposed and the Central Committee did not 
support it. 

Further, Comrade Rykov joked about a bloc with Comrade 
Holtzmann, which Comrade Trotsky seems to be forming. 
I should like to say a few words on this. A bloc is always 
needed between Party groups that are in the right. That 
should always be regarded as an essential condition for a 
correct policy. If Comrade Holtzmann, whom, I regret to say, 
I know very little, but of whom I have heard as a representa- 
tive of a certain trend among the metalworkers, a trend that 



particularly insists on sensible methods — which I stress in 
my theses, too — if it, is on these grounds that he insists on 
individual management, that, of course, can only be extreme- 
ly useful. A bloc with this trend would be an exceedingly 
good thing. If the representation of the trade unions on the 
Central Committee is to be increased, it would be useful to 
have on it representatives of this trend too — though it may 
be wrong on certain points, it is at least original and has 
a definite shade of opinion of its own — side by side with the 
extremist champions of corporate management who are 
battling in the name of democracy but who are mistaken. 
Let them both be represented on the Central Committee — 
and you will have a bloc. Let the Central Committee be so 
constituted that, with the help of a bloc, a field of operation 
may be found that functions all the year round, and not only 
during the week a Party Congress is held. We have always re- 
jected the principle of regional representation, because it leads 
to a lot of regional cliquism. When it is a question of closer 
fusion with the trade unions, of being alive to every shade of 
opinion in the trade unions, of maintaining contacts — it is 
essential for the Central Committee to be constituted in such 
a way as to have a transmission belt to the broad masses 
of the trade unions (we have 600,000 Party members and 
3,000,000 trade union members) to connect the Central Com- 
mittee simultaneously with the united will of the 600,000 
Party members and the 3,000,000 trade union members. We 
cannot govern without such a transmission belt. The more we 
won back of Siberia, the Kuban area and the Ukraine, with 
their peasant population, the more difficult the problem 
became, and the more laboriously the machine revolved, 
because in Siberia the proletariat is numerically small, 
and it is weaker in the Ukraine too. But we know that the 
Donets Basin and Nikolayev workers have bluntly refused 
to defend the semi-demagogic corporate principle into which 
Comrade Sapronov has lapsed. There can be no question but 
that the proletarian element in the Ukraine differs from 
the proletarian element in Petrograd, Moscow and Ivanovo- 
Voznesensk — not because it is no good, but for purely histor- 
ical reasons. They did not have occasion to become, so steeled 
by hunger, cold and strife as the proletarians of Moscow and 
Petrograd. We therefore need such a bond with the trade 



unions, such a form of organisation of the Central Committee, 
as would enable it to know every shade of opinion, not only 
among the 600,000 Party members, but also among the 
3,000,000 trade union members, so that it may be able at 
any moment to lead them all as one man! Such an organisa- 
tion is essential. That is the basic factor, the political factor 
without which the dictatorship of the proletariat will not be 
a dictatorship. If we are to have a bloc, let it be a real bloc! 
We should not be afraid of it, but should welcome it and 
practise it more vigorously and more extensively right in 
the central institutions of the Party. 





It was only last night and today that I have had an oppor- 
tunity of partially acquainting myself with the two resolu- 
tions. I think that the resolution of the minority of the com- 
mission is the more correct. Comrade Milyutin attacked it 
with a great battery of terrifying words: he discovered half- 
measures in it, even quarter-measures; he accused it of 
opportunism. But it seems to me that the devil is not as 
black as he is painted. If you get down to the root of the 
matter you will see that Comrade Milyutin, who tried to 
give the matter a basis in principle, showed by his own argu- 
ments that the resolution he advocated was incorrect and 
unsuitable specifically from the standpoint of practice and 
of Marxism. It is incorrect for the following reasons; Mi- 
lyutin stated that his resolution, the resolution of the 
majority of the commission, advocated fusion with the volost 
executive committees, subordination to the volost executive 
committees, and that is why he sees in his resolution direct- 
ness and decisiveness as compared with the insufficiently 
revolutionary character of the minority resolution. During 
the long course of our revolutionary campaign we have 
seen that whenever we made proper preparations for our revo- 
lutionary actions they were crowned with success; but that 
when they were merely imbued with revolutionary fervour 
they ended in failure. 

What does the resolution of the minority of the commis- 
sion say? The resolution of the minority says: direct your 
attention to intensifying communist work in the consumers' 
societies and to securing a majority within them; first make 



ready the organs to which you want to hand them over, then 
you can hand them over. Compare this with the line pursued 
by Milyutin. He says: the co-operatives are no good, there- 
fore hand them over to the volost executive committees. But 
have you a communist basis in the co-operatives you want to 
hand over? The essence of the matter — preparation — 
is ignored; only the ultimate slogan is given. If this communist 
work has been done, and organs have been set up to take them 
over and guide them, the transfer is quite natural, and there 
is no need to proclaim it at a Party congress. But have you 
not been threatening the peasants enough? Has not the Sup- 
reme Economic Council shaken its fist enough at the peas- 
ants and the co-operatives in the matter of the flax procure- 
ment? If you recall the practical experience of our work in 
the localities and in the Council of People's Commissars, you 
will admit that this is a wrong attitude to take, and that 
the right resolution is the one which declares that the work 
of communist education and the training of executives are 
necessary, for otherwise the transfer will be impossible. 

The second question of cardinal importance is that of 
contacts with the consumers' co-operatives. Here Comrade 
Milyutin says something utterly inconsistent. If the con- 
sumers' co-operatives are not fulfilling all their assign- 
ments — which is what we have been saying for two years in 
a number of decrees directed against the kulaks — it must be 
remembered that government measures against the kulaks 
can also be applied against the co-operative societies. And 
this is being done in full. The most important thing at the 
moment is to increase production and the quantity of goods. 
If the consumers' co-operatives do not get this done, they 
will be punished for it. But if, owing to their connection 
with the producers' co-operatives, they give even a small 
increase of products, we must welcome it and foster the ini- 
tiative. If the consumers' co-operatives, in spite of their 
closer, intimate local connections with production, do not 
show an increase, it will mean that they have not fulfilled 
the direct assignment of the Soviet government. If there are 
even two or three energetic comrades in a district who are 
prepared to combat the kulaks and the bourgeoisie, victory 
is assured. In what way was Comrade Chuchin's initiative 
thwarted? He did not cite a single instance. But the idea 



that we must link up the producers' co-operatives with the 
consumers' co-operatives and agree to any concession that 
may increase the amount of products in the near future fol- 
lows logically from our experience of the past two years. 
It in no way hampers either communist functionaries or 
Soviet officials in their war on the kulak co-operative, the 
bourgeois type of co-operative. Far from hampering them, it 
provides them with a new weapon. If you succeed in organ- 
ising anything at all we shall give you a bonus; but if 
you do not fulfil this assignment we shall punish you, not 
only because you are counter-revolutionary — we have the 
Cheka for that, as was rightly pointed out here — no, we shall 
punish you for not fulfilling the assignment of the state, of 
the Soviet government and the proletariat. 

Comrade Milyutin has not produced a single sound argu- 
ment against amalgamating the consumers' co-operatives — 
all he said was that this seemed to him to be opportunism 
or a half-measure. This is strange coming from Comrade Mi- 
lyutin, who, with Comrade Rykov, was prepared to make 
big strides, but discovered that he cannot even make a tenth 
of one stride. From this aspect, connections with the consum- 
ers' co-operatives will be an advantage; they will make it 
possible to tackle production immediately. All means are 
available to prevent interference in political matters; and as 
to obedience in the production and economic sphere, that 
depends entirely on the People's Commissariat of Agricul- 
ture and the Supreme Economic Council. These means are 
adequate for you to be able to control the co-operatives. 

I now come to the third question, the question of nation- 
alisation, which Milyutin advocated in a way that was 
strange to hear. A commission was set up. Comrade Krestin- 
sky was in a minority on the commission and Comrade Mi- 
lyutin was the victor. But now he says: "On the question of 
nationalisation I am prepared not to argue." Then what was 
the commission arguing about? If your standpoint is the 
same as Comrade Chuchin's you are wrong in renouncing na- 
tionalisation. It has been asked here why, if the capital- 
ists have been nationalised, the kulaks cannot be nationalised 
too. It is not surprising that this argument evoked hilarity. 
For however you count the well-to-do peasants, those who 
exploit the labour of others, you will find there are no less 



than half a million, perhaps even something like a million. 
How do you propose to nationalise them? It is fantastic. 
We have not the means for that as yet. 

Comrade Chuchin is quite right when he says that there 
are a lot of counter-revolutionaries in the co-operatives. 
But that is a horse of another colour. What was said about 
the Cheka was quite in place here. If you are too short- 
sighted to expose individual leaders of the co-operatives, 
then just install one Communist to detect the counter-revo- 
lution; if he is a good Communist — and a good Communist 
has the qualities of a good member of the Cheka — he should, 
when assigned to a consumers' society, bag at least two 
counter-revolutionary co-operators. 

That is why Comrade Chuchin is wrong when he advocates 
immediate nationalisation. It would be a good thing, but 
it is impossible, for we are dealing with a class which is 
least susceptible to our influence and which certainly can- 
not be nationalised. We have not even nationalised all the 
industrial enterprises. By the time an order of the chief 
administrations and central boards reaches the localities 
it becomes absolutely ineffective; it is completely lost in 
a sea of documents, because of lack of roads and telegraph, etc. 
It is therefore impossible to speak of the nationalisation of the 
co-operatives as yet. Comrade Milyutin is wrong in principle 
too. He feels that his position is weak and thinks that he 
can simply withdraw this point. But in that case, Comrade 
Milyutin, you are undermining your own resolution, you are 
issuing a certificate to the effect that the resolution of the 
minority is right; for the spirit of your resolution — to 
subordinate them to the volost executive committees (that 
is exactly what is said in the first clause — "take measures") — 
is a Cheka spirit, wrongly introduced into an economic 
issue. The other resolution says that the first thing to do 
is to increase the number of Communists, to intensify com- 
munist propaganda and agitation — that a basis must be 
created. There is nothing grandiloquent here, no immediate 
promises of a land flowing with milk and honey. But if 
there are Communists in the localities, they will know what 
has to be done, and there will be no need for Comrade Chu- 
chin to explain where counter-revolutionaries should be 
taken to. Secondly, an organ must be created. Create an 



organ and test it in action, check whether production is 
increasing — that is what the resolution of the minority 
says. First of all create a basis, and then — then we shall 
see. What has to be done will follow from this of itself. We 
have enough decrees saying that counter-revolutionaries 
should be handed over to the Cheka, and if there is no Cheka, 
to the Revolutionary Committee. We need less of this 
fist-shaking. We must adopt the resolution of the minority, 
which lays down a basic line of policy. 





Comrades, in making a brief summary of the work of our 
Congress we must, in my opinion, first of all dwell upon 
the tasks of our Party. The Congress has adopted a detailed 
resolution on the question of organisation, and as might 
have been expected, a very important place in that resolu- 
tion is occupied by the question of the education, the train- 
ing, the organisational deployment of the members of our 
Party. The Credentials Committee has reported that over 
600,000 members of our Party are represented at this Con- 
gress. We are all fully aware of the tremendous difficulties 
the Party has had to cope with in these strenuous times, 
when measures had to be taken to prevent the worst elements, 
the offal of the old capitalist system, from seeping into 
the government party, from fastening themselves on to it — 
t is naturally an open party, for it is the government party, 
and as such opens the way to power. One of these measures 
was the institution of Party Weeks. Under such conditions, 
at such moments, when the Party and the movement were 
in exceptionally trying situations, when Denikin stood 
north of Orel, and Yudenich within fifty versts of Petrograd, 
it was only people who were sincerely devoted to the cause 
of the emancipation of the working people who could have 
joined the Party. 

Such conditions will not occur again, at least not in 
the near future, and it must be said that the huge member- 
ship (as compared with previous congresses) our Party has 
attained gives rise to a certain apprehension. And there is 
one very real danger, which is that the rapid growth of our 



Party has not always been commensurate with the extent 
to which we have educated this mass of people for the per- 
formance of the tasks of the moment. We must always bear in 
mind that this army of 600,000 must be the vanguard of the 
working class, and that we should scarcely have been able to 
carry out our tasks during these two years if it had not been 
for iron discipline. The basic condition for the maintenance 
and continuance of strict discipline is loyalty; all the old 
means and sources of discipline have ceased to exist, and we 
base our activities solely on a high degree of understanding 
and political consciousness. This has enabled us to achieve 
a discipline which is superior to that of any other state and 
which rests on a basis different from that of the discipline 
which is being maintained with difficulty, if it can be main- 
tained at all, in capitalist society. We must therefore remem- 
ber that our task in the coming year, after the brilliant 
successes achieved in the war, is not so much the growth 
of the Party as work inside the Party, the education of the 
membership of our Party. It is not for nothing that our 
resolutions on organisation devote as much space as possible 
to this question. 

We must spare no effort to make this vanguard of the 
proletariat, this army of 600,000 members, capable of coping 
with the tasks that confront it. And it is confronted by 
tasks of gigantic international and internal importance. 
As to the international tasks, our international position has 
never been as good as it is now. News about the life of the 
workers abroad seldom reaches us, yet every time you receive 
a couple of letters or a few issues of European or American 
working-class socialist newspapers you experience real 
pleasure, because everywhere, in all parts of the world, you 
see among masses formerly entirely untouched by propaganda, 
or steeped in wretched opportunism, in purely parliamentary 
socialism, a tremendous growth of interest in the Soviet 
power, in the new tasks, a growth much greater than we ima- 
gine; everywhere you see intense revolutionary movement, 
ferment, and revolution has become a current issue. 

I had occasion yesterday to glance through an issue of 
the newspaper of the British Socialist Labour Party. The 
British workers, whose leaders were intellectuals and who 
for decades were distinguished by their contempt for theory, 



are talking in quite definite tones; and the paper shows that 
the British workers are now taking an interest in the question 
of revolution, that there is a growing interest in the fight 
against revisionism, opportunism, and parliamentary social- 
ism, the social-treachery we have got to know so well. This 
struggle is becoming an issue of the day. We can say quite 
definitely that our American Comrade R., who has published 
a voluminous book containing a number of articles by Trots- 
ky and myself, thus giving a summary of the history of 
the Russian revolution, was quite right when he said that 
the French Revolution was victorious on a world-wide scale, 
and that, if it was directly crushed, it was only because it 
was surrounded on the European continent by more back- 
ward countries, in which a movement of emulation, sympathy 
and support could not immediately arise. The Russian revo- 
lution, which, owing to the yoke of tsarism and a number of 
other factors (continuity with 1905, etc.), started before 
the others, is surrounded by countries which are on a higher 
level of capitalist development and are approaching the 
revolution more slowly, but more surely, durably and firmly. 
We find that with every year, and even with every month, the 
number of supporters and friends of the Soviet Republic is 
increasing tenfold, a hundredfold, a thousandfold in every 
capitalist country; and it must be said that we have more 
friends and allies than we imagine! 

The attempt of world imperialism to crush us by military 
force has collapsed completely. The international situation 
has now given us a much longer and more durable respite 
than the one we had at the beginning of the revolution. But 
we must remember that this is nothing more than a respite. 
We must remember that the whole capitalist world is armed 
to the teeth and is only waiting for the moment, choosing 
the best strategical conditions, and studying the means of 
attack. We must never under any circumstances forget 
that all the economic power and all the military power is 
still on its side. We are still weak on an international scale, 
but we are rapidly growing and gaining strength, wresting 
one weapon after another from the hands of the enemy. But 
the enemy is lurking in wait for the Soviet Republic at 
every step. International capital has definite designs, a 
calculated plan, now that the blockade has been removed, 



to unite, to fuse, to weld together international food 
speculation, international freedom of trade, with our own 
internal food speculation, and on the basis of this speculation 
to pave the way for a new war against us, to prepare a 
new series of traps and pitfalls. 

And this brings us to that fundamental task which constit- 
uted the chief theme, the chief object of attention of our 
Congress. That is the task of development. In this respect 
the Congress has done a lot. A resolution has been unanimous- 
ly adopted on the principal question, the question of economic 
development and transport. And now, by means of Party 
education, we shall be able to get this resolution carried into 
effect by the three million working-class members of the trade 
unions, acting as one man. We shall ensure that this resolu- 
tion channels all our strength, discipline and energy to the 
restoration of the country's economic life — first of all to 
the restoration of the railways, and then to the improvement 
of the food situation. 

We have now quite a number of subjects for propaganda, 
and every item of news we get from abroad and every new 
dozen members of the Party provide us with fresh material. 
Propaganda must be carried on systematically, without the 
dispersion and division of forces. We must bear firmly in 
mind that we achieved successes and performed miracles in 
the military sphere because we always concentrated on the 
main and fundamental thing, and solved problems in a way 
that capitalist society could not solve them. The point is 
that in capitalist society everything that particularly inter- 
ests the citizens — their economic conditions, war and peace — 
is decided secretly, apart from society itself. The most im- 
portant questions — war, peace, diplomatic questions — are 
decided by a small handful of capitalists, who deceive not 
only the masses, but very often parliament itself. No parlia- 
ment in the world has ever said anything of weight on the 
question of war and peace. In capitalist society the major 
questions affecting the economic life of the working people — 
whether they are to live in starvation or in comfort — are 
decided by the capitalist — who is the lord, a god! In all 
capitalist countries, including the democratic republics, the 
attention of the people is diverted at such times by the cor- 
rupt bourgeois press, which wears the label of freedom of 



speech, and which will invent and circulate anything to fool 
and deceive the masses. In our country, on the other hand, 
the whole apparatus of state power, the whole attention of 
the class-conscious worker have been entirely and exclusively 
centred on the major and cardinal issue, on the chief task. 
We have made gigantic progress in this way in the military 
sphere, and we must now apply our experience to the econom- 
ic sphere. 

We are effecting the transition to socialism, and the 
most urgent question — bread and work — is not a private 
question, not the private affair of an employer, but the affair 
of the whole of society, and any peasant who thinks at all 
must definitely realise and understand that if the govern- 
ment raises the question of the railways in its whole press, 
in every article, in every newspaper issue, it is because it 
is the common affair of all. This work to develop the country 
will lead the peasant out of the blindness and ignorance 
that doomed him to slavery; it will lead him to real liberty, 
to a state of affairs in which the working folk will be aware 
of all the difficulties that confront them and will direct all 
the forces of public organisation, all the forces of the state 
apparatus, all the forces of agitation to the simplest and most 
essential things, rejecting all the tinsel and trimmings, all 
the playing at resolutions and the artful promises which form 
the subject of the newspaper agitation of all capitalist coun- 
tries. All our forces, all our attention must be centred on these 
simple economic tasks, which are clear to every peasant, to 
which the middle, even the well-to-do, peasant, if he is at 
all honest, cannot object, and which we are always absolutely 
right in raising at every meeting. Even the masses of the 
least politically-conscious workers and peasants will confirm 
that the chief thing at the moment is to restore the economy 
in a way that will prevent it from falling again into the hands 
of the exploiters and will not offer the slightest indulgence 
to those who, having a surplus of grain in a starving country, 
use it to enrich themselves and to make the poor starve. 
You will not find a single man, however ignorant and unen- 
lightened, who does not have the feeling that this is unjust, 
to whom the idea has not occurred, vague and unclear per- 
haps, that the arguments of the supporters of the Soviet govern- 
ment fully accord with the interests of the working people. 



It is to these simple tasks, which in the big capitalist 
societies are kept in the background and are regarded as the 
private affair of the bosses, that we must direct the attention 
of the whole army of 600,000 Party members, among whom 
we must not tolerate a single one who does not do his duty; 
and for the sake of this we must get the whole mass of the 
workers to join us and to display the greatest self-sacrifice 
and devotion. It will be difficult to organise this, but 
since, from the point of view of the working people it is 
just, it has tremendous moral weight and immense power of 
conviction. And so, confident that, thanks to the work of 
the Congress, this task can now be accomplished as brilliant- 
ly as we accomplished the military task (although again at 
the price of a number of defeats and mistakes), we may say 
that the workers of all European and American countries are 
now looking towards us, looking with expectancy to see 
whether we shall accomplish the more difficult task confront- 
ing us — for it is more difficult than the achievement of mili- 
tary victory. It cannot be accomplished by enthusiasm, by 
self-sacrifice and heroic fervour alone. In this work of organ- 
isation, in which we Russians have been weaker than others, 
in this work of self-discipline, in this work of rejecting the 
incidental and striving for the main thing, nothing can be 
done in a hurry. And in this sphere of requisitioning grain, 
repairing the railways, restoring the economy, where progress 
is made only inch by inch, where the ground is being prepared, 
and where what is being done is perhaps little, but is 
durable — in this work, the eyes of the workers of all coun- 
tries are upon us, they expect new victories of us. I am con- 
vinced that, guided by the decisions of our Congress, with the 
600,000 members of the Party working like one man, and 
establishing closer ties with the economic bodies and the 
trade union bodies, we shall accomplish this task as success- 
fully as we accomplished the military task, and shall march 
swiftly and surely towards the victory of the World Social- 
ist Soviet Republic! (Applause.) 



In a talk with me, Comrade Lansbury laid particular 
stress on the following argument of the British opportunist 
leaders in the labour movement. 

The Bolsheviks are compromising with the capital- 
ists, agreeing, in the Peace Treaty with Estonia, for 
instance, to timber concessions; if that is the case, 
compromises with capitalists concluded by the moder- 
ate leaders of the British labour movement are equal- 
ly legitimate. 

Comrade Lansbury considers this argument, very wide- 
spread in Britain, of importance to the workers and urgently 
requiring examination. 

I shall try to meet this desire. 


May an advocate of proletarian revolution conclude com- 
promises with capitalists or with the capitalist class? 

This, apparently, is the question underlying the above 
argument. But to present it in this general way shows either 
the extreme political inexperience and low level of political 
consciousness of the questioner, or his chicanery in using 
a sophism to veil his justification of brigandage, plunder 
and every other sort of capitalist violence. 

Indeed, it would obviously be silly to give a negative 
reply to this general question. Of course, an advocate of 
proletarian revolution may conclude compromises or agree- 
ments with capitalists. It all depends on what kind of agree- 
ment is concluded and under what circumstances. Here and 



here alone can and must one look for the difference between 
an agreement that is legitimate from the angle of the prole- 
tarian revolution and one that is treasonable, treacherous 
(from the same angle). 

To make this clear I shall first recall the argument of the 
founders of Marxism and then add some very simple and 
obvious examples. 

It is not for nothing that Marx and Engels are considered 
the founders of scientific socialism. They were ruthless 
enemies of all phrase-mongering. They taught that problems 
of socialism (including problems of socialist tactics) must 
be presented scientifically. In the seventies of last century, 
when Engels analysed the revolutionary manifesto of the 
French Blanquists, Commune fugitives, he told them in 
plain terms that their b oastf ul declaration of "no compromise" 
was an empty phraseU^The idea of compromises must 
not be renounced. The point is through all the compromises 
which are sometimes necessarily imposed by force of circum- 
stance upon even the most revolutionary party of even the 
most revolutionary class, to be able to preserve, strengthen, 
steel and develop the revolutionary tactics and organisa- 
tion, the revolutionary consciousness, determination and 
preparedness of the working class and its organised vanguard, 
the Communist Party. 

Anybody acquainted with the fundamentals of Marx's 
teachings must inevitably draw this conclusion from the 
totality of those teachings. But since in Britain, due to a 
numher of historical causes, Marxism has ever since Chart- 
ismH2J (which in many respects was something preparatory 
to Marxism, the "last word but one" before Marxism) been 
pushed into the background by the opportunist, semi-bour- 
geois leaders of the trade unions and co-operatives, I shall 
try to explain the truth of the view expounded by means of 
typical examples drawn from among the universally-known 
facts of ordinary, political, and economic life. 

I shall begin with an illustration I gave once before in 
one of my speeches. Let us suppose the car you are travelling 
in is attacked by armed bandits. Let us suppose that when a 
pistol is put to your temple you surrender your car, money 
and revolver to the bandits, who proceed to use this car, 
etc., to commit other robberies. 



Here is undoubtedly a case of compromising with highway- 
men, of agreement with them. The agreement, though unsigned 
and tacitly concluded, is nevertheless quite a definite and 
precise one: "I give you, Mr. Robber, my car, weapon and 
money; you rid me of your pleasant company." 

The question arises: do you call the man who concluded 
such an agreement with highwaymen an accomplice in bandit- 
ry, an accomplice in a robbers' assault upon third persons 
despoiled by the bandits with the aid of the car, money and 
weapon received by them from the person who concluded 
this agreement? 

No, you do not. 

The matter is absolutely plain and simple, down to the 
smallest detail. 

And it is likewise clear that under other circumstances 
the tacit surrender to the highwaymen of the car, money and 
weapon would be considered by every person of common sense 
to be complicity in banditry. 

The conclusion is clear: it is just as silly to renounce the 
idea of literally all agreements or compromises with robbers 
as it is to acquit a person of complicity in banditry on the 
basis of the abstract proposition that, generally speaking, 
agreements with robbers are sometimes permissible and 

Let us now take a political illustration.... 

Written March-April 1920 
First published in 1936 

Published according to 
the manuscript 



April 2, 1920 


Revolutionary Military Council, 
Caucasian Front 

Again urge you to display caution and maximum good will 
towards the Moslems, especially on advancing into Daghes- 
tan. Do everything to demonstrate, and in the most emphatic 
manner, our sympathy for the Moslems, their autonomy, 
independence, etc. Give me more precise and more frequent 
information on how things stand. 


First published in 1942 

Published according to 
a typewritten copy 



Comrades, allow me first of all to convey the greetings 
of the Council of People's Commissars to the First Congress 
of Mineworkers. 

Comrades, this Congress and this whole branch of industry- 
are of the highest importance to the Soviet Republic. You 
all know, of course, that without the coal industry there 
would be no modern industry, no factories. Coal is the 
veritable bread of industry; without it industry comes to 
a standstill; without it the railways are in a sorry state 
and can never be restored; without it the large-scale industry 
of all countries would collapse, fall to pieces and revert to 
primitive barbarity; today the coal shortage and crisis 
are having the most dire effects even in the victor coun- 
tries, even in countries far more advanced than Russia and 
which have suffered far less in the war. It is, therefore, 
all the more necessary to us that you, comrades, who have 
assembled to form a solid, strong, powerful and class-conscious 
union of mineworkers, should clearly realise the tremendous 
tasks with which the entire Soviet Republic, the workers' 
and peasants' government confront this Congress, confront 
the mineworkers. After two years of desperate struggle 
against the whiteguards and capitalists, who were sup- 
ported by the capitalists of the whole world, today, after 
all the victories we have won, we are again faced with a stern 
struggle, as severe as the previous one but a more grateful 
one — the struggle on the bloodless front, on the front of 

When, on the bloody front of war, the landowners and 
capitalists tried to break the Soviet power in Russia, it 



seemed as if the cause of the Soviet Republic was hopeless, 
as if Soviet Russia, the weakest, most backward and most 
devastated of all countries, would be unable to hold its own 
against the capitalists of the whole world. The richest 
powers in the world assisted the Russian whiteguards in this 
struggle, assigned hundreds of millions of rubles to help 
them, supplied them with munitions, established special 
camps abroad for the training of officers — and to this day 
these recruiting bureaus still exist abroad, where, with the 
help of the richest capitalists in the world, Russian prisoners 
of war and volunteers are being recruited for the war against 
Soviet Russia. It naturally looked as if this was a hopeless 
undertaking, as if Russia could not hold out against the mili- 
tary powers of the world, who are stronger than we are. 
Nevertheless, this miracle proved possible; Soviet Russia 
performed this miracle in two years. 

Soviet Russia proved to be the victor in a war against 
all the richest powers in the world. Why? Not because we 
were stronger from the military standpoint, of course — that 
is not the case — but because in the civilised countries there 
were soldiers who could no longer be deceived, although reams 
of paper were devoted to proving to them that the Bolsheviks 
were German agents, usurpers, traitors and terrorists. As 
a result of this, we find that soldiers returned from Odessa 
either convinced Bolsheviks or declaring that they "would 
not fight the workers' and peasants' government". The chief 
reason for our victory was that the workers of the advanced 
West-European countries understood and sympathised with 
the working class of the world so strongly that, despite the 
lies of the bourgeois press, which in publications issued in 
millions of copies showered disgusting calumnies on the Bol- 
sheviks — despite all this, the workers were on our side; 
and this fact determined the issue of our war. Everybody 
realised that if hundreds of thousands of soldiers had fought 
against us as they had fought against Germany, we would 
not have been able to hold on. This was obvious to anybody 
who knows what war means. Nevertheless, a miracle hap- 
pened: we defeated them, they were split owing to their 
wrangling, and their famous League of Nations turned out 
to resemble a league of mad dogs who are snatching each 
other's bones and cannot come to terms over a single question; 



however, the number of Bolshevik supporters, direct and 
indirect, conscious and not altogether so, is growing daily 
and hourly in every country. 

Everybody who sympathises with socialism knows what 
happened to the Second International: for twenty-five years, 
from 1889 to 1914, it directed the socialist movement in 
all countries, but when the imperialist war broke out the 
socialists of the Second International went over to the side 
of their governments, each defending his own. All those who 
called themselves republicans, Socialist-Revolutionaries or 
Mensheviks, in every country, took the side of their own 
governments, defended their own fatherland and helped to 
conceal the secret treaties — did not publish them. The social- 
ists who were considered the leaders of the working class 
went over to the capitalists, went against the Russian working 
class. The German Government is headed by the Scheidemann 
gang, who to this day call themselves Social-Democrats but 
who are the foulest of butchers; in alliance with the land- 
owners and capitalists, they have murdered the leaders of 
the German working class, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Lieb- 
knecht, and slaughtered fifteen thousand German proletari- 
ans. In the period since its foundation a year ago, the Third 
(Communist) International has gained a complete victory. 
The Second International has fallen to pieces. 

So you see what a strong influence the Soviet power in 
Russia has had on the workers of the whole world, despite 
all the lies and calumnies directed against it. The soldiers 
and workers hold that power should be vested in those who 
work — he who does not work, shall not eat, but he who does 
work is entitled to a voice in the state, he can influence 
matters of state. That is a simple truth, and millions of 
working-class people have understood it. 

You are now faced with a difficult task, namely, to 
follow up our military victories by a much more difficult 
victory This will be all the more difficult because here mere 
heroism is not enough; here results can be achieved only by 
persistent work, and years of intense effort will be required. 

All over the world the capitalists are mustering labour- 
power and increasing output. But the workers say in reply, 
first feed the workers first put a stop to the wrangling 
for which the workers pay with their lives, first put an end 



to the carnage, for millions of people perished in the recent 
bloodbath to decide whether the British or some other preda- 
tors were to rule. As long as power is in the hands of the 
capitalists we are not thinking of increasing production but 
of overthrowing them. 

But now that the capitalists have been overthrown, 
prove that you are able to increase productivity without 
them; refute the lie which the capitalists spread about 
the class-conscious workers, when they say that this is not 
a revolution, not a new order, but sheer destruction, mere 
revenge on the capitalists; they say the workers alone can 
never organise the country and lead it out of economic 
chaos, that they will only create anarchy. That is the lie 
which the capitalists of all countries are spreading in mil- 
lions of ways, and which non-party people, opponents of the 
Bolsheviks, are conveying in thousands of ways to Russian 
workers too, especially to those who are under-educated, 
have been most corrupted by capitalism or are most ignorant. 
But if, as we have seen, we have been able, in the two years 
of Soviet power, to stand up to the whole world, it has been 
largely due to the heroism of the workers. 

We are reproached for having established the dictator- 
ship of the proletariat, for the iron, relentless and firm 
rule of the workers, which stops at nothing and which says 
that whoever is not with us is against us, and that the 
slightest resistance to this rule will be crushed. But we 
are proud of it and say that were it not for this iron rule 
of the workers, of this workers' vanguard, we should not 
have been able to hold out for two months, let alone two 
years. What this dictatorship has given us is this — every 
time a difficult situation arose during the war, the Party 
mobilised Communists, and it was they who were the first to 
perish in the front ranks; they perished in thousands on the 
Yudenich and Kolchak fronts. The finest members of the 
working class perished; they sacrificed themselves, realising 
that although they perished they would save future genera- 
tions, that they would save thousands upon thousands of 
workers and peasants. They ruthlessly pilloried and hounded 
the self-seekers — those who during the war were concerned 
only for their own skins — and shot them without mercy. 
We are proud of this dictatorship, of this iron rule of the 


workers, which said: "We have overthrown the capitalists 
and we will lay down our lives to prevent any attempt of 
theirs to restore their rule." Nobody during these two years 
went as hungry as the workers of Petrograd, Moscow and Iva- 
novo-Voznesensk. It has now been computed that during 
these two years they received not more than seven poods of 
bread a year, whereas the peasants of the grain-producing 
gubernias consumed no less than seventeen poods. The work- 
ers have made great sacrifices, they have suffered epide- 
mics, and mortality among them has increased. But they will 
prove that the workers did not rise up against the capi- 
talists out of vengeance, but with the inflexible determination 
to create a social system in which there will be no land- 
owners and capitalists. It was for the sake of this that these 
sacrifices were made. It was only because of these unparal- 
leled sacrifices that were made consciously and voluntarily 
and were backed up by the discipline of the Red Army, with- 
out recourse to old methods of discipline — it was only because 
of these tremendous sacrifices that the advanced workers 
were able to maintain their dictatorship and earned the 
right to the respect of the workers of the whole world. Those 
who are so eager to slander the Bolsheviks should not forget 
that the dictatorship entailed the greatest sacrifice and 
starvation on the part of the workers who were exercising it. 
During these two years the workers of Ivanovo-Voznesensk, 
Petrograd and Moscow suffered more than anybody fighting 
on the Red fronts did. 

This is what should be, first and foremost, borne in 
mind and well remembered by the comrades in the coal 
industry. You are a vanguard. We are continuing the war — not 
the bloody war, that, fortunately, is over, nobody will now 
dare to attack Soviet Russia, because they know that they 
will be defeated since the class-conscious workers cannot be 
led against us; they will blow up ports, as they did in Arch- 
angel under the British and also in Odessa. This has been 
proved; this much we have gained. But we are continuing the 
war, we are nevertheless continuing it as an economic war. 
It is the speculators we are now fighting, the handful of 
workers who have been corrupted by the old capitalist system 
and who say to themselves, "I must have higher pay, and to 
hell with the rest." "Give me double pay, give me two or three 



pounds of bread a day," they say, heedless of the fact that 
they are working for the defence of the workers and peasants, 
for the defeat of the capitalists. They must be combated by 
means of comradely education, by comradely persuasion, 
and there is nobody to do this except the trade unions. It 
must be explained to such workers that if they side with the 
speculators and profiteers, with the rich peasants who say, 
"the more grain I have the more money I shall make" and 
"each for himself, and God for all", they will be following 
the precepts of the capitalist gentry and of all who preserve 
the old capitalist traditions; they must be told that we 
regard all who act on the old precepts as apostates and traitors 
whom the working class must brand and put to shame. There 
are mostly capitalist countries surrounding us and all over 
the world they are uniting against us, they are joining forces 
with our speculators; they want to overthrow us by force, 
and think they are stronger than we are. We continue to be a 
besieged fortress towards which the eyes of the world's workers 
are turned, for they know that their freedom will come from 
here, and in this besieged fortress we must act with military 
ruthlessness, with military discipline and self-sacrifice. 
In the ranks of the workers we cannot tolerate self-seekers 
who refuse to combine the interests of their group with 
the interests of the workers and peasants in general. 

We must, with the help of the trade unions, create the 
comradely discipline which existed in the Red Army, which 
is being worked out by the best of our trade unions, and which 
I am convinced you who have now founded the mineworkers' 
union will also establish. 

Your union will be one of the foremost unions, and it 
will have all the state assistance we can possibly give. And 
I am sure that you too will make similar sacrifices to create 
a firm labour discipline, raise the productivity of labour 
and foster the spirit of self-sacrifice among the workers 
in the coal industry, among those who are engaged in what is 
probably the hardest, dirtiest and most exhausting 
labour, and which technicians are striving to abolish 

But in order to save Soviet power now, industry must 
be fed, that is, provided with coal. Unless this is done, 
it will be impossible to restore the economy and the railways, 



it will be impossible to set the factories going and provide 
goods to be exchanged for the peasants' grain; the peasants 
cannot, of course, be content with bits of coloured paper, 
they are granting us a loan, because it is their duty to grant 
a loan to the hungry workers. But it is our duty to repay 
this loan, and production, therefore, must be increased ten- 
fold and all the factories started. 

That, comrades, is the tremendous task which faces all 
class-conscious workers, i.e., those workers who realise 
that the issue is one of preserving and consolidating Soviet 
power and socialism in order to save all future generations 
from the yoke of the landowners and capitalists for all time. 
Those who refuse to understand this must be driven from the 
ranks of the workers. The trade unions, with their training, 
influence and propaganda, and their deep concern for pro- 
duction and discipline, will see to those who do not under- 
stand it sufficiently. That is the way to strengthen the 
workers' and peasants' government. And by this slow but 
most important work you will achieve, you must achieve, 
victories even more important than those gained by our Red 
Army at the front. 

Published in 1920 in the Published according to 

pamphlet Resolutions and the pamphlet 

Decisions of the First 
(Inaugural) All-Russia 
Congress of Mineworkers, Moscow 


APRIL 7, 1920 

{Prolonged, stormy applause. Ovation.) Comrades, permit me 
to begin by conveying greetings from the Council of People's 
Commissars to the Third All-Russia Congress. {Applause.) 
Comrades, Soviet power is now passing through a phase 
of outstanding importance, which in many respects confronts 
us with the highly complex and interesting tasks that belong 
to a period of change. And it is the specific nature of the 
period that provides the trade unions with special tasks and 
special responsibilities in the work of building socialism. 

That is why I should now like to dwell not so much on 
certain decisions of the Party Congress which has just ended 
(on this subject you will receive a more detailed report) 
as on those changes in the conditions of Soviet policy which 
link up all the tasks of socialist construction and the activ- 
ities of the trade unions. The chief feature of the present 
phase is the transition from war tasks, which have hitherto 
absorbed all the attention and effort of the Soviet govern- 
ment, to tasks of peaceful economic development. And it 
should be mentioned right away that this is not the first 
time that the Soviet government and the Soviet Republic 
are passing through such a phase. We are reverting to this 
question once more — this is the second time since the dicta- 
torship of the proletariat was established that history has 
brought the work of peaceful construction into the fore- 

The first time was at the beginning of 1918, when, after 
the brief but very impetuous offensive of German imperi- 
alism, at a time when the old capitalist army had completely 



collapsed and when we had no army of our own and could not 
create one rapidly, the German imperialist predators forced 
the Peace of Brest-Litovsk upon us. It seemed as if war 
tasks had receded into the background, owing to the weakness 
of the available forces of the Soviet government. It seemed 
as if we could proceed to the work of peaceful construction. 
I had occasion to make a report to the All-Russia Central 
Executive Committee at that time, too. That was on April 29, 
1918, nearly two years ago. The Central Committee adopted a 
number of theses based on my report and had them published. 
I remind you of this because even at that time the theses 
enumerated a number of questions — on labour discipline and 
so forth — which are included in the agenda of this Congress. 
There is a similarity between that time and the present. 
I assure you that our attention is again being concentrated 
on the disputes and differences which were aired in the 
trade union movement two years ago. It would be a profound 
mistake to assert that the decisions of the Ninth Congress 
of the Russian Communist Party arose out of the present dis- 
putes. Such an assertion would only tend to distort the true 
picture of events. And, therefore, in order to understand 
the true nature of the question and to set about its solution 
in a proper way, it would be useful to compare and give 
some thought to conditions as they were at the beginning of 
1918 and as they are today. 

At that time, during the brief suspension of the war against 
German imperialism, the tasks of peace-time development 
assumed prominence. It looked as if we might enjoy a long 
period of peaceful constructive work. Civil war had not 
yet begun. Krasnov had, with German aid, only just appeared 
on the Don. There were no hostilities in the Urals and in 
the North. The Soviet Republic included a vast territory — 
all except what it had been deprived of by the Treaty of 
Brest-Litovsk. Conditions were such that we might count 
upon a long period of peaceful work. And, under these condi- 
tions, the primary question taken up by the Communist 
Party and stressed in a number of resolutions (particularly 
that of April 29, 1918) was the need for widespread propa- 
ganda of, and greater insistence on, labour discipline. 

Dictatorial powers and one-man management are not con- 
tradictory to socialist democracy. This must now be borne 



in mind, if the decisions adopted by the recent Party Con- 
gress and the general tasks that confront us are to be under- 
stood. And this is not an answer to questions that have only 
just arisen; it has its deep roots in the very conditions of 
the period in which we live. Let anyone who doubts this 
compare the situation with what it was two years ago, 
and he will understand that the present phase demands that 
all attention be devoted to labour discipline, to the labour 
armies, although two years ago there was no mention of 
labour armies. Only by comparing the issue as it stands today 
with the way it stood then, can we draw a proper conclusion, 
ignoring minor details and singling out what is general and 
fundamental. The whole attention of the Communist Party 
and the Soviet government is centred on peaceful economic 
development, on problems of the dictatorship and of one-man 
management. Not only the experience we have had in the 
stubborn civil war of the past two years leads us to such a 
solution of these problems. 

When we tackled them for the first time in 1918, there 
was no civil war and no experience to speak of. 

It was, therefore, not only the experience of the Red 
Army and of the victorious Civil War, but something more 
profound, something bound up with the tasks of the dictator- 
ship of the working class in general, that has induced us 
now, as it did two years ago, to concentrate all our atten- 
tion on labour discipline as the crucial factor in the eco- 
nomic development of socialism, and as the basis of the dicta- 
torship of the proletariat as we understand it. Since capi- 
talism was overthrown, every day of our revolution has taken 
us further and further away from the idea about which the 
old internationalists, who were thoroughly petty-bourgeois, 
made so much ado; they believed that the decision of a 
majority in the democratic institutions of bourgeois parlia- 
mentarism — with private property in land, the means of pro- 
duction and capital still retained — could settle the issue, 
when as a matter of fact it can be decided only by a bitter 
class struggle. The significance of the dictatorship of the pro- 
letariat in actual practice unfolded before us when, after the 
conquest of power, we set about putting it into practice and 
saw that the struggle between classes had not ceased with this, 
that the victory over the capitalists and landowners had not 



destroyed these classes, that it had only smashed them, but 
had not completely destroyed them; suffice it to mention the 
international ties of capital, which are of much longer stand- 
ing and more solid than the ties of the working class are as 

On an international scale, capital is still stronger, both 
from the military and the economic standpoint, than Soviet 
power and the Soviet system. That is the fundamental 
premise from which we must proceed, and we must never 
forget it. Forms of the struggle against capital change — at 
one time they acquire an open international character, at 
another they are centred in one country. The forms change, 
but the struggle goes on whether it be in the military, the 
economic, or some other sphere of the social system; and 
our revolution confirms the basic law of the class struggle. 
The greater the cohesion achieved by the proletariat in over- 
throwing the bourgeois classes, the more it learns. The revo- 
lution develops in the course of the struggle itself. And the 
struggle does not cease with the overthrow of the capitalists. 
Only after the defeat of the capitalists has been consolidated 
in one country does it acquire practical significance for the 
whole world. At the beginning of the October Revolution 
the capitalists regarded our revolution as a freak — any 
queer thing may happen in those distant parts, they 

For the dictatorship of the proletariat to acquire world 
significance, it had to be consolidated in practice in some one 
country. Only then did the capitalists — not only the Russian 
capitalists, who at once rushed to seek the aid of other 
capitalists, but the capitalists of all other countries — become 
convinced that this matter was acquiring international sig- 
nificance. Only then did the resistance of the capitalists on 
a world scale attain the force it did. Only then did civil war 
develop in Russia and all the victorious countries do their 
utmost to assist the Russian capitalists and landowners in 
the Civil War. 

The class struggle in Russia had taken full shape by 
1900, whereas the socialist revolution became victorious in 
1917. Not only did the resistance of the overthrown class 
continue to develop after its overthrow, but it acquired 
a new source of strength in the relations between the pro- 



letariat and the peasantry. This is known to anybody who 
has made any study of Marxism, who has based socialism on 
the international movement of the working class, as its only 
scientific foundation. Everyone knows that Marxism gives 
the theoretical reason for the abolition of classes. What 
does this mean? For the victory of socialism it is not enough 
to overthrow the capitalists; the difference between the pro- 
letariat and the peasantry must be abolished. The position 
of the peasantry is this — on the one hand, it is a class of work- 
ing people, who for decades and centuries were oppressed 
by the landowners and capitalists, and it will therefore be 
a long time before they can forget that the workers alone 
liberated them from this oppression. This question could 
be discussed for decades; reams of paper have been filled 
on the subject, and many factional groups have taken shape 
around it. But we now see that these differences have paled 
before reality. As working people, the peasants will not 
forget for many years to come that it was the workers 
alone who liberated them from the landowners. That 
cannot be contested; but they remain property-owners 
in a commodity-producing economy. Every case of a sale of 
grain on the open market, of speculation and profiteering 
is the restoration of a commodity-producing economy, and 
hence of capitalism. By overthrowing the capitalists we liber- 
ated the peasantry, a class which in old Russia undoubtedly 
comprised the majority of the population. The peasants have 
remained property-owners in their form of production, and 
they are continuing to develop new capitalist relations after 
the overthrow of the bourgeoisie. These are the basic features 
of our economic position. Hence the absurdity of the talk 
we hear from those who do not understand the state of affairs. 
The talk of equality, liberty and democracy under present 
conditions is nonsense. We are waging a class struggle, and 
our aim is to abolish classes. As long as workers and peasants 
remain, socialism has not been achieved. And, in practice, 
we find an irreconcilable struggle going on everywhere. We 
must think about how and under what conditions the 
proletariat, wielding so powerful an apparatus of coercion 
as the state, can attract the peasant as a working man and 
overcome his resistance as a property-owner, or render it 



Here the class struggle is continuing, and this throws 
new light on the significance of the dictatorship of the 
proletariat. It appears before us not only, and not even 
largely, as the employment of the coercive means of the state 
apparatus for the suppression of the resistance of the 
exploiters. It is, of course, right to say that we have done 
a lot by taking this as the basis, but we also have another 
method, in which the proletariat plays the part of an organ- 
iser, of one who has been through the school of labour and 
the training and discipline of the capitalist factory. We 
must organise economic life on a new and more perfect basis, 
counting on and utilising all the achievements of capitalism. 
Without this we shall never be able to build socialism and 
communism. This is much more difficult than the war tasks. 
In many respects the war tasks are easier to accomplish. 
They can be accomplished by enthusiasm, energy and self- 
sacrifice. It was easier for the peasant to fight his inveterate 
enemy, the landowner, and more within his understanding. 
He did not have to understand the connection between the 
power of the workers and the necessity to put down freedom 
of trade. It was easier to beat the Russian whiteguards, 
the landowners and capitalists, and their henchmen, the 
Mensheviks. This victory will cost us more, both in time 
and effort. 

You cannot win in economic matters in the same way as in 
a war. Freedom of trade cannot be defeated by enthusiasm 
and self-sacrifice. Here, prolonged work is required; the 
ground has to be won inch by inch; the organising forces of 
the proletariat are required. Victory may be achieved only if 
the proletariat wields its dictatorship as a great, organised 
and organising force, a force of moral influence on all the 
working people, including the non-proletarian working 
masses. Now that we have been successful — and will continue 
to be equally successful — in carrying out the first and simplest 
task, the suppression of the exploiters who directly at- 
tempt to sweep away Soviet power, a second and more com- 
plex task arises, which is to organise the forces of the proleta- 
riat, to learn to be good organisers. Labour must be organ- 
ised in a new way; new ways of stimulating people to work 
and to observe labour discipline must be devised. Even capi- 
talism took decades to accomplish this. All too often the worst 



mistakes are made in this field. Many of our opponents show 
a complete failure to understand this question. They said 
we were Utopians when we maintained that power could be 
seized. On the other hand, they expect us to complete the 
organisation of labour in a few months and to show results 
that require several years to produce. That is absurd. Given 
the political conditions, power can be retained by the sheer 
enthusiasm of the workers, perhaps even in the face of the 
whole world. That we have proved. But the creation of new 
forms of social discipline requires decades. Even capitalism 
required many decades to transform the old system of organ- 
isation. From the theoretical standpoint it is sheer nonsense 
to expect that we can reconstruct the organisation of labour 
in short order, and to instil this idea into the minds of the, 
workers and peasants. 

And not only is it nonsense, it is extremely harmful, 
because it prevents the workers from clearly understanding 
the difference between the new tasks and the old. The new 
task is to organise industry, and first of all our own 
forces — and as far as organisation is concerned, we are weak, 
weaker than any of the advanced nations. The ability to do 
this is developed by large-scale machine industry, and it 
has never, in all history, had any other material basis than 
the productive labour of millions employing large-scale 
machine industry in accordance with a previously established 
plan. And here the interests of the proletariat and the 
peasantry do not coincide. A difficult period of struggle 
begins — a struggle against the peasantry. We must, however, 
make it clear to the peasants that they have no other course; 
they must either march with the workers, they must help the 
proletariat, or again succumb to the rule of the landowners. 
There is no middle course; the Mensheviks have a middle 
course, but it is a thoroughly rotten one and is failing 
everywhere, including Germany. The peasant masses cannot 
get an understanding of this by theory or by observing the 
Second and Third Internationals. The peasant masses — com- 
prising tens of millions of people — can get an understanding 
of this only from their own experience, from their daily 
practical life. The peasants could understand the victory 
over Kolchak and Denikin. They were able to compare in 
practice Kolchak and Denikin with the dictatorship of the 



working class which the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolu- 
tionaries had tried very hard and are still trying to scare the 
peasants with. But actually the peasants could never study 
theory, and cannot now. The peasant masses see that the Men- 
sheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries are all lying; and they 
see the struggle we are waging against profiteering. It must 
be confessed that the Mensheviks too have made some prog- 
ress in propaganda, having learned something from our 
political departments in the army. The peasants saw a ban- 
ner on which was inscribed, not dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat, but Constituent Assembly, the power of the people; 
they did not see the word "dictatorship", they did not even 
understand the word. But experience has taught them that 
Soviet government is better. 

And we are now faced with a second task, that of bring- 
ing moral influence to bear on the peasantry. Coercive meth- 
ods towards the peasantry will help us little. It is the eco- 
nomic differentiation of the peasantry that is involved here. 
Since the overthrow of the capitalists, the struggle has drawn 
the workers close together; they have been cemented by two 
years of civil war. The peasantry, on the other hand, is 
splitting up more and more. The peasants cannot forget 
the landowners and capitalists; they remember them. Never- 
theless, the peasantry of today are disunited; the interests 
of one section clash with those of another. The peasantry 
are not united. For one thing, not every peasant has food sur- 
pluses. There is no such equality. It is nonsense to say 
there is. To divide the peasantry and win over the non-kulak 
elements will require a lot of time. It will involve a long 
struggle, in which we shall employ all our forces, every means 
at our disposal. But force alone cannot ensure victory; moral 
means must be employed too. And from this follow all the 
questions of dictatorial power and individual authority which 
to many, or to some at any rate, it may be safely said, appear 
to have arisen only out of our recent disputes. But that is 
a mistake. Compare the situation with that of 1918. There 
were no disputes then. 

When, after the peace with Germany, the question arose 
as to what should be the basis of power, we Communists re- 
plied — it must he made clear that democracy under the S